$64 million heroin interception for HMAS Melbourne

Seized heroin on the deck of HMAS Melbourne, Image: Australian Department of Defence

In her third drug seizure so far, HMAS Melbourne has intercepted another 216 kilograms of high-grade heroin in the Middle East worth around  $64 million (USD $46.1 million).

The heroin was transferred to Melbourne for further analysis.

The seizure takes the Royal Australian Navy’s narcotics haul since February 2014 to over 5 tonnes and to almost $664 million for 2015.

Melbourne’s Commanding Officer, Commander Bill Waters, said the intercept was a great success for the ship and her boarding teams.

“It also highlights the work of our support agencies ashore that provide us the vital intelligence needed to be in the right place at the right time.”

“We’ve had a very successful year and this seizure is a great way to cap it off,” CMDR Waters said.

Melbourne is on her eighth deployment to the Middle East region as part of Operation Manitou, Australia’s contribution to Maritime Security Operations in the Middle East region.

She is the 61st rotation of a RAN vessel in the region since the first Gulf War in 1991.

Melbourne is operating within Combined Task Force 150, which is one of three principle task forces operated by the Combined Maritime Force, a 30-nation coalition based in Bahrain.

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