Royal Australian Navy’s Anzac-class frigate HMAS Perth, currently conducting counter-terrorism operations in the Indian Ocean region, visited Seychelles and the island’s National Drug Enforcement Agency.
During Perth’s visit to the islands, two Royal Australian Navy officers, Lieutenants Tim Russell-Cook and Richard Morris, conducted a goodwill visit to the Maritime Element of the Agency.
The visit included tours of facilities and seized vessels, and provided insights into the complexities of narcotic trafficking across the Indian Ocean.
The visit also provided the officers with a new-found appreciation of the impact that the black market drugs trade has on small island communities.
The Seychelles authorities have had a positive impact on regional maritime security operations in the Indian Ocean. They play a prominent role in countering maritime piracy and is now making significant progress towards law enforcement-led successes against drug traffickers.
In April, the agency seized a dhow transiting through its waters carrying 98 kilograms of heroin.
Lieutenants Russell-Cook and Morris were offered a tour of the seized dhow and were impressed with local capabilities.
“They have achieved a lot, especially when you consider the huge island archipelago it has to patrol,” Lieutenant Russell-Cook said.
To reciprocate, the officers invited agents for a tour of Anzac class frigate, HMAS Perth, which included an informal brief on the challenges of counter-narcotics operations in the Indian Ocean region.