Pakistan: US Navy’s guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze seized drugs of $20 million worth from a fishing vessel while patrolling in the Gulf of Aden (Red Sea) on November 22, 2022.
It is stated that the interception was on the infamous “Southern Route” used by Pakistan and Iran-based drug cartels to transport large quantities of heroin, opium, and other opioids from the Makran coast of Baluchistan to pre-determined landing points on the coast of East Africa.
The same incident has been reported over the past two years where the vessels of multinational navies working under the aegis of the US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) have seized approximately US $900 million worth of illicit narcotics. The Forces were patrolling around the northern Indian Ocean, such as the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea.
As per the various reports, Pakistani or occasionally Iranian are linked to these incidents as they are associated with most vessels brought out in this kind of illicit maritime activity in the region.
The international community is not announcing Pakistan as the driving force behind the heroin trade in the Indian Ocean Region openly despite getting evidence of extensive organized criminal activity manifesting from the Makran coast.
Moreover, experts across the globe who efficiently understand the world of organized crime asserted that Pakistan is the region which is a “Narco State”, working alongside collaborators in Iran and Afghanistan.
It is also reported that Pakistan always supported the organized crime that occurred in Asia, Africa and Europe. These crimes have created a sophisticated network of drug businesses across continents, which meet the world’s rising demand for heroin and derivates like methamphetamine (crystal meth), increasingly using the maritime routes – colloquially called the “hash highways”.
These highways also contribute to something more sinister than various derivates of opium – they buttress the unholy nexus of the illicit narcotics trade and international terrorism.