Turkish Coast Guard Intercepts Cargo Ship With Drugs On Board

Operation Albatros.

Operation Albatros. The red line is the track of TCSG Umut. The blue line shows the route of TCSG Yaşam. The green line is the track of M/V Joudi.

On 5 January 2015, Turkish Coast Guard intercepted a Bolivian flagged vessel in international waters off Tobruk, Libya. The vessel was varying 13 tons of cannabis.

The seizure took place in international waters 55 nautical miles from Tobruk and 140 nautical miles from Create.

The target M/V Joudi was intercepted by two Turkish Coast Guard OPV’s TCSG Yaşam and TCSG Umut. TCSG Yaşam departed from Mersin and TCSG Umut departed from Marmaris. A maritime patrol plane from Turkish Coast Guard shadowed M/V Jourdi. The vessel boarding search and seizure team was supported by two narcotic detection dogs.

When M/V Jourdi departed from Syria, international drug traffic enforcement authorities were tipped of about the 13 tons of narcotics on board. Turkish Coast Guard started to track the ship on 3 January 2015.

In the mean time Turkey contacted the flag nation of the vessel, Bolivia and received a permission for the seizure operation.

Currently the captured vessels is under the command of Turkish Coast Guard and is heading to Turkey. although her exact destination is not known at the moment it is safe to assume that she is heading to Aksaz Naval Base in Marmaris; the nearest Turkish naval base.

According to Turkish jurisdiction Turkish Coast Guard is the maritime law enforcement agency and has the right to detain suspects.  So they are correct force to conduct such operation but just a couple of years ago such a bust by Turkish Coast Guard was not possible since then they did not have any vessel with that range. The commissioning Dost class off shore patrol vessels dramatically increased operational area of our coast guard.


6 Responses to Turkish Coast Guard Intercepts Cargo Ship With Drugs On Board

  1. Kevin Brent says:

    Am I correct in presuming that M/V Joudi’s destination was Tobruk?

  2. harry dardanel says:

    Why the Turkish Coast Guard and not Italy, France, Greece, and other EU nations ??? Or is there an agreement among Med. nations ??

  3. @Kevin: Yes Tobruk was the destination of M/V Joudi.
    @Harry: I think (but I’m not %100 sure) that the tip-off for the narcotics was received by Turkish Police, hence it was Turkish Coast Guard that seized the ship. The details of the story differs in each news website. :-)

  4. Huseyin says:

    If it was Russia capturing a drug ship departed from a Turkish controlled port, by now all the world would read web brigades’ articles on how Turkey was supporting terrorism with drug money.

    But when the ship left a port controlled by Russia, under the watchful eye of the pride of Russian navy, cruiser Moskva, we do not hear anything about origin. In fact, only a few Turkish sources say “unnamed Syrian port”.

    I hope the crew’s story will give a compelling evidence for Syrian regime’s involvement. That may be the reason why other nation’s were not informed. A Syrian crewed drug ship was captured by Italy in October yet nothing came after that.

  5. Pingback: More Informaiton About Operation Albatros |

  6. visitor says:

    @Huseyin: May have something to do with Marihuana not being considered illegal in some countries, semi-legal in more and even more have endless debates if it is should be kept banned.

    If it was “real” drug like Met or Heroin it would be reported much more widely.

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