Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Warramunga continues the fight to reduce the flow of money to international terrorism by seizing approximately 6.2 tonnes of hashish on two separate interdictions in the space of two days as part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 Maritime Security Operations.
In the days immediately prior to the change of command, HMAS Warramunga’s Seahawk Romeo helicopter located two separate suspicious vessels in the East Arabian Sea.
With CCTF approval, and following the insertion of her boarding team, a professional and thorough search of the first vessel led to the discovery of 147 bags of hashish, weighing in at approximately three tonnes and worth approximately USD$115.2 million.
Just hours later, a second suspicious vessel was located by HMAS Warramunga’s Seahawk Romeo helicopter. Again, with CCTF approval, the ship’s boarding party was deployed and upon conducting searches uncovered approximately 3.2 tonnes of hashish, worth approximately USD$122.45 million.
This takes Warramunga’s total seizures to more than 26 tonnes of hashish and approximately two tonnes of heroin, valued at approximately USD$1.42 billion.
The two busts have occurred just moments shy of the Change of Command from an Australian-led command team to a UK-led command team.
During Australia’s six months in command, CTF150 has made a significant impact on the narcotics trade, producing a record number of seizures.
Commander of CTF150, Commodore Mal Wise, who handed over Command on 24 May 2018, said “HMAS Warramunga has been a pivotal player in the success of record CTF150 seizures. However, it really is a team effort from the 32 like-minded nations that pool their valuable assets, people and the will to fight maritime crime and terrorism and strengthen regional security”.