Australian frigate tops AU$1B in drug interdictions

Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Warramunga carried out another successful drug interdiction operation on February 1, bringing the total value of drugs seized by the crew since November 2017 to over AU$1 billion.

The latest operation took place in the Western Indian Ocean and resulted in the seizure of 414 kilograms of heroin valued in excess of $124 million.

Warramunga’s total is now 11.5 tonnes of hashish and 1.5 tonnes of heroin.

The commanding officer of HMAS Warramunga, Commander Dugald Clelland, RAN, said the ship’s seventh seizure had achieved a significant milestone for Australian maritime operations.

“As a result of this latest seizure, Warramunga has now taken more than $1 billion of narcotics out of circulation, meaning the funds raised from this sale are no longer available for use by terrorist organisations around the world,” he said.

The Commander of CTF 150, Commodore Mal Wise, RAN, said the ship’s ongoing success was the result of close cooperation between the ship’s crew and the Australian-Canadian planning team at CTF 150.

“The team on land and at sea has worked well to identify and search vessels of interest in a large geographic area, dealing a series of significant blows to the drug trade that funds violent extremists,” he said.

The narcotics were transferred to Warramunga and disposed at sea.

This is Warramunga’s third deployment to the Middle East region, and is the 66th rotation of a RAN vessel in the region since 1990.

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