Royal Australian Navy warship HMAS Toowoomba operating as part of Pakistan-led Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) has achieved her second successful drugs haul in 72 hours, stopping another batch of narcotics, worth $132million, reaching the streets.
Anzac-class frigate HMAS Toowoomba is currently providing direct support to CTF-150, the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) Task Group responsible for promoting safety and security at sea. The warship was on a routine patrol on 20 November when it intercepted the a dhow in international waters off East Africa. After boarding, an exhaustive search led to the discovery of 324kg of heroin in hessian bags.
Commander Cath Hayes, the Commanding Officer of HMAS Toowoomba, said her team had demonstrated once again their professionalism and efficiency as agents of the international campaign to disrupt narcotics smuggling in the Indian Ocean, profits from which the UN Office of Drugs and Crime recognise as funding international terrorist organisations:
“I am extremely proud of the combined efforts of each of the 191 members of Toowoomba’s Ship’s Company in achieving these recent two drug interdictions. Once again, our colleagues at Combined Task Force 150 and the Combined Maritime Forces worked with us, making sure we were in the right place at the right time to strike and that is what we did.”
CTF-150 remains at the forefront of the campaign to stop criminals using the sea to aid their illegal activities. Commodore Sajid Mahmood SI(M), the Commander of CTF-150, praised the crew for this, the third successful drugs bust by HMAS Toowoomba since Pakistan assumed command of CTF-150:
“Toowoomba’s most recent success proves her worth yet again as a capable and effective military unit for use against narcotics smugglers and also validates our plans formulated against these criminals. The herculean effort in seizing 324kg of heroin just 72 hours after their last drug bust demonstrates the professionalism, dedication and resolve of the men and women of HMAS Toowoomba’s boarding team. Through their efforts, they have again raised the flags of CMF and CTF-150 on the international stage.”