HER Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Warramunga has once again been successful in supporting the Combined Maritime Forces counter terrorism campaign plan by seizing 295kgs of heroin as part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 Maritime Security Operations.
HMAS Warramunga located the drug smuggling vessel in the Arabian Sea while conducting routine surveillance operations on the morning of Thursday, 10 May 2018. With the Commanding Officer and crew well-rehearsed at such operations, and upon receiving Chain of Command approval, the ship’s Boarding Party was quickly inserted using their Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat.
The result of this latest interdiction was the seizure and destruction of heroin valued at approx $69 million USD. This is HMAS Warramunga’s eleventh successful interdiction in five months and brings the Royal Australian Navy Frigate’s impressive total of narcotics interdicted to approx 19.3 tonnes of hashish and 2.1 tonnes of heroin totalling approx $1.2 billion USD.
Overall, this is the 16th boarding under the Australian led CTF 150, which has led to the seizure of illicit drugs undertaken by a number of nations working in support of CTF 150.
Commodore Mal Wise, Commander CTF150 said that “the accomplishments of the entire CTF 150 team have been the result of the combination of like-minded nations working cooperatively with the shared goal of strengthening maritime security and fighting terrorism.”
“Together we have removed illicit narcotics that would have otherwise funded terrorist activities.”
“HMAS Warramunga has made a significant contribution with her enthusiastic patrolling of known smuggling routes.”
Since assuming command in December 2017, ships working under CTF 150 authority have seized more than 30 tonnes of hashish and over 3 tonnes of heroin, valued in excess of $1.8 billion USD.
Media note: *This calculation is based on the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission Illicit Drug Data Report 2015–16 figures for Cannabis Resin (Hashish) at $39 USD per gram (p215) and Heroin at $235,000 USD per kilogram (p 216).