Australian frigate seizes another 8 tons of narcotics

Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Warramunga made another drug interception in the Arabian Sea intercepting eight tonnes of hashish aboard two vessels.

The drugs, worth an estimated AU$400 million, were seized during an operation on March 3.

Warramunga has now seized 19.5 tonnes of hashish and 1.5 tonnes of heroin, valued in excess of AU$1.43 billion since deploying to the Middle East in November 2017.

On March 3 Warramunga’s Seahawk helicopter crew detected a vessel of interest during surveillance operations. A boarding party searched the vessel, uncovering 4.1 tonnes of illicit cargo.

The Seahawk crew then detected a second vessel of interest and the subsequent boarding and search operation resulted in the seizure of an additional 3.9 tonnes of illegal narcotics.

The narcotics were transferred to Warramunga for disposal at sea.

The Commander of Joint Task Force 633, Rear Admiral Jaimie Hatcher, AM, RAN, said the achievements of Warramunga and her crew reflect a longstanding legacy of success by the RAN in the region.

“This is the 66th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy vessel in the region since 1990 and the continual successes of Warramunga during her rotation builds upon the foundation of commitment our Navy has shown to the region for nearly three decades,” Rear Admiral Hatcher said.

Combined Taskforce 150 is one of three task forces operating under Combined Maritime Forces. Australia assumed command of Combined Task Force 150 in December 2017.