Record Heroin Haul by Australian-Led CTF

Record Heroin Haul by Australian-Led Combined Task Force

The Australian-led Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150) has seized a record heroin haul during a boarding on Friday, 29 March 2013.

Law enforcement agencies confirm the half a tonne of heroin has an estimated street value at $100 million AUD.

According to law enforcement agencies, the 500kg haul is one of the largest heroin seizures in maritime history.

The Australian CTF 150 Commander, Commodore Charles McHardie, said the seizure represents another step towards ensuring a secure maritime environment, whilst further depleting terrorism’s finances.

Heroin trafficking is a major source of financial supply for terrorist activity.

“The destruction of this cargo strikes at the financial heart of global terrorist organisations,” Commodore McHardie said.

CTF 150’s Australian-led intelligence gathering, planning, co-ordination and direction was central to the mission’s success.

The Australian ship HMAS Toowoomba worked in conjunction with Canadian warship HMCS Toronto, tracking and boarding suspected drug smugglers.

Commodore McHardie said the seizure is proof coordinated coalition efforts deny funding to terrorist organisations.

HMCS Toronto boarded and searched the vessel in the Indian Ocean adjacent to Zanzibar Island, Tanzania in accordance with international law and the vessel was found to be without nationality.

The boarding occurred as part of Focused Operation Southern Sweep, which is designed to assist counter-terrorism efforts.

Focused Operation Southern Sweep is disrupting the movement of heroin from Afghanistan into East Africa by sea and denying terrorist organisations a source of financial support.

CTF150 is one of three task forces commanded by the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), which includes 27 nations in the naval partnership.

The CMF mission is to promote security, stability and prosperity across the Arabian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.

Naval Today Staff, April 3, 2013; Image: Australian Navy