Australian Navy frigate seizes heroin off the coast of Africa

Royal Australia Navy frigate HMAS Arunta seized some 250 kilograms of heroin from a vessel off the coast of Africa.

The interdiction took place on May 10 in the waters of the Indian Ocean.

This is also Arunta’s second narcotic interdiction since she joined counter-terrorism operations in December last year.

Following detection by a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion maritime patrol aircraft, Arunta intercepted and boarded the suspect dhow as part of Combined Task Force 150 which is currently under French command, supported by a combined French-UK staff.

Commanding Officer Commander Cameron Steil praised his crew’s professionalism and ability to conduct a meticulous search, which led to the drug seizure.

“While the smugglers continue to try new techniques for hiding narcotics, our boarding parties have shown that their experience, training, and techniques are up to the task at hand,” Commander Steil said.

Arunta is on her third deployment to the Middle East, as the 64th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy vessel in the region since 1990.

Operation Manitou is the current name for the Australian Government’s contribution to support international efforts to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East region.

Under operation Manitou, Arunta is currently supporting the US-led Combined Maritime Force, a 31 nation partnership working within the region.