By Commander, Combined Maritime Forces Office of Public Affairs
| May 15, 2018
Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Warramunga (FFH 152), currently supporting Combined Maritime Forces’ (CMF) Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, seized 650 pounds of heroin during a boarding in the Arabian Sea. (Photo by LSIS Tom Gibson)
HMAS Warramunga located the drug smuggling vessel while conducting routine surveillance operations. With the commanding officer and crew well-rehearsed at such operations, and upon receiving chain of command approval, the ship’s boarding party was quickly inserted using their rigid hull inflatable boat.
The result of this latest interdiction was the seizure and destruction of heroin valued at approximately $69 million. This is HMAS Warramunga’s eleventh successful interdiction in five months and brings the Royal Australian Navy frigate’s impressive total of narcotics interdicted to approximately 19.3 tons of hashish and 2.1 tons of heroin totalling approximately $1.2 billion.
Overall, this is the 16th boarding under the Australian led CTF 150, which has led to the seizure of illicit drugs undertaken by a number of nations working in support of CTF 150.
Commodore Mal Wise, commander CTF150, said the accomplishments of the entire CTF 150 team have been the result of the combination of like-minded nations working cooperatively with the shared goal of strengthening maritime security and fighting terrorism.
“Together we have removed illicit narcotics that would have otherwise funded terrorist activities,” said Mal.
Since assuming command in December 2017, ships working under CTF 150 authority have seized more than 30 tons of hashish and over 3 tons of heroin, valued in excess of $1.8 billion.