In its sixth successful haul in eight weeks, Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Newcastle seized 139kg of heroin, with an estimated street value of around A$41million, off the east coast of Africa.
The latest haul brings the Australian Navy’s total seizures in the Middle East region over the last two years to an estimated street value of $2.3billion Aussie (US$1.7billion).
Chief of Joint Operations Vice Admiral David Johnston said this year alone HMAS Newcastle had seized 1.4 tonnes of heroin, valued at over A$413million.
“That’s an extraordinary impact on the funding of terrorist organisations, which is where much of these illegal drug profits end up,” Vice Admiral Johnston said.
At Australia’s main operating base in the Middle East region, Commander of Joint Task Force 633, Rear Admiral Trevor Jones, said HMAS Newcastle and her crew had dealt yet another blow to terrorism.
HMAS Newcastle’s Commanding Officer Commander Dominic MacNamara said the his crew continued to be successful said much about the way the ship and supporting headquarters work together in order to achieve such results.
“We have trained extremely well, both back at home and in the Middle East region, and continue to display the professionalism and dedication required to be an integral part of the CMF,” Commander MacNamara said.
The latest drugs haul was recovered during a routine verification boarding on 3 July.
Photos by Leading Seaman Brenton Freind