HMAS Melbourne’s crew has seized 427 kilograms of heroin hidden in a fishing dhow carrying the illegal drugs across the Indian Ocean.
The intercept occurred during Melbourne’s first patrol of her current Operation MANITOU deployment to the Middle East region.
The crew of HMAS Melbourne observed the dhow operating suspiciously and a boarding party via sea boat conducted a routine boarding.
Interviews with the dhow’s crew raised suspicion that it was involved in some form of illegal activity. A subsequent search of the vessel, uncovered the heroin which was then transferred from the dhow to Melbourne where it was analysed and destroyed.
Illegal narcotics are a common source of funding for terrorist organisations and HMAS Melbourne’s Commanding Officer, Commander Bill Waters, said the drugs had an estimated Australian street value of at least AUD$126 million. He further added that Australian ships seized nearly two tonnes of heroine in 2015 during their deployment to Middle Eastern waters.
Image: Australian Navy