Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) continued its recent string of success by seizing 132 kgs of heroin in the Arabian Sea on March 6.
Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Warramunga boarded her third vessel in just four days, interdicting over USD 30 million worth of heroin.
Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, CMF’s counter-terrorism and maritime security task force seized 12,216 kgs of hashish and 132 kgs of heroin from 3-6 March in the Arabian Sea. This latest haul means that CMF has now seized over 1,600 kgs of heroin, worth over USD 380 million in under twelve weeks.
HMAS Warramunga’s MH 60 Romeo helicopter was conducting routine aerial surveillance in the Arabian Sea when it detected a vessel of interest. HMAS Warramunga approached the dhow in international waters and upon investigation CTF 150 authorised a non-destructive search of the dhow. During that search, the boarding team located heroin valued over USD 30 million. Once the search was completed, the heroine was cataloged and destroyed safely at sea.
Commander of CTF 150, Commodore Mal Wise, Royal Australian Navy, spoke of the impact that the seizure will have: “The illicit drug trade has had a profound effect on the lives of the people in East Africa. We know that heroin seizures like today’s will have a direct impact on the operations of terrorist organizations at distribution points in East Africa. Removing heroin from circulation reduces the funding resources available for terrorists, which then reduces their ability to inflict suffering on the communities in East Africa.”
CTF 150, as part of CMF, supported by international agencies such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, seeks to disrupt smuggling networks transferring illicit narcotics from Central Asia, through to East Africa.