More success against drug smuggling for CTF-150 units

Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Newcastle, which is deployed in direct support to Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 operations has seized and destroyed an additional 581kgs of high purity Heroin, with an estimated U.S street value of approximately $US 404million. This major catch is the largest and seventh successful haul led by CTF-150 units since France took command of the Task Force last April. Five of these drug seizures have been made by HMAS Newcastle’s crew, on the base of information provided by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).

HMAS Newcastle's 19 June 2015 net haul of narcotics seized from a dhow as part of operations involving narcotics interdiction off the east coast of Africa

HMAS Newcastle’s 19 June 2015 net haul of narcotics seized from a dhow as part of operations involving narcotics interdiction off the east coast of Africa

Whilst on routine patrol in the Northern part of the Indian Ocean, HMAS Newcastle intercepted a suspicious dhow off the east African coast. The dhow was boarded and searched by Newcastle’s boarding crew where they discovered the illegal narcotics.

CTF-150’s total seizures this year amount to 1 562kg of heroin valued at approximately $US 1 billion on the US market. Under the French command, the seizures were conducted by both HMAS Newcastle and Her Majesty’s New Zealand Ship Te Kaha, with the support of all CTF-150 units and assets, including Her Majesty’s Ship Richmond and French Ship Var, the flag ship of the CFT-150.

Narcotics from the fifth and largest HMAS Newcastle seizure to date on Newcastle's flight deck

Narcotics from the fifth and largest HMAS Newcastle seizure to date on Newcastle’s flight deck

Capt. René-Jean Crignola, Commander CTF-150 congratulated HMAS Newcastle’s crew for this new success against drug smuggling, which is known to fund international terrorist organizations, “The involvement of Newcastle in CTF-150 operations against terrorism has been once against fruitful. It highlights that our modes of action are effective in denying access of the sea to terrorist organizations and drug smugglers to conduct their trafficking. By working all together, sharing allied information and assets, we are more efficient than any nation working on its own. That is why we will continue our operations in the coming months, to keep on ensuring maritime security in our area of responsibility and defeating the people who want to harm our common interests”, Capt. Crignola said.

HMAS Newcastle’s Commanding Officer, Commander Dominic MacNamara, spoke of his crew’s continued success since joining CTF-150 operations. “Denying funding to terrorist organizations is key to achieving maritime security, and narcotics seizures play a significant part in this,” he said, “Newcastle today succeeded because of the professional manner in which they have carried out their duties and their meticulous observation of suspicious activity. Today we have stopped more than 580kg of narcotics from reaching the streets, and the resulting proceeds from feeding back to terrorist organizations.” .

Members of HMAS Newcastle's boarding party prepare to board and search a dhow on 19 June 2015, which revealed 581 Kgs of hidden illegal narcotics

Members of HMAS Newcastle’s boarding party prepare to board and search a dhow on 19 June 2015, which revealed 581 Kgs of hidden illegal narcotics

CTF-150 is a multinational maritime task force command of which is rotated between participatory nations on a four to six month basis. It is one of the three task forces operated by Combined Maritime Forces, with CTF-151, responsible for counter-piracy and CTF-152, responsible for security and cooperation in the Arabian Gulf. CTF 150’s mandate is about promoting the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment by countering terrorist acts and related illegal activities, which terrorists use to fund their operations or conceal their movements.

CMF is a multinational force comprising 30 nations, which exists to promote security, stability and prosperity across more than 2.5 million square miles of international waters and encompasses some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.

About Combined Maritime Forces

CMF is a unique multi-national naval coalition, dedicated to promoting security and prosperity across 3.2 million square miles of international waters in the Middle East. CMF’s main focus areas are defeating terrorism, preventing piracy, reducing illegal activities, and promoting a safe maritime environment.
This entry was posted in CMF, CTF 150 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.