HMAS Warramunga’s crew has seized record amounts of narcotics on Operation Manitou following their latest interdiction.
CAPTION: A sailor from Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Warramunga prepares to remove packages of heroin from a dhow during a boarding operation. Photo by Leading Seaman Tom Gibson.
In the latest haul, the crew of the Royal Australian Navy frigate seized approximately 132 kilograms of heroin valued at almost $40 million while patrolling international waters of the Arabian Sea on 6 March 2018.
The illegal narcotics interdiction is Warramunga’s third seizure in the past seven days having also seized in excess of eight tonnes of hashish from two vessels just days earlier.
It’s the 10th vessel interdicted overall since the ship deployed to the region in November 2017.
Warramunga’s illicit drug interceptions now total 19.5 tonnes of hashish and more than 1.6 tonnes of heroin, valued in excess of AUD$1.47 billion.*
The latest seizure was conducted following the detection of a suspect vessel by Warramunga’s Seahawk Romeo helicopter.
The subsequent boarding-party search uncovered 120 packages of heroin, each weighing approximately 1kg.
Commanding Officer HMAS Warramunga Commander Dugald Clelland put the additional success down to the hard work and dedication of Warramunga’s crew.
“HMAS Warramunga’s force preparation before deployment, based on lessons from previous RAN deployments, coupled with valuable experience gained during nine previous narcotics seizures, has proven to be the basis of success in Warramanga’s recent boarding operations,” Commander Clelland said.
Chief of Joint Operations Vice Admiral David Johnston said this latest interdiction highlighted the professionalism of RAN personnel and also the importance of the work being undertaken by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).
“HMAS Warramunga’s successes in the Middle East maritime region demonstrates our operations are having a significant impact on intercepting illegal drug trafficking in the maritime environment, Vice Admiral Johnston said.
“Their repeated successes can also be attributed to Coalition efforts at CMF and in particular Combined Task Force 150, currently under Australian Command and comprised of a combined Australian-Canadian staff.”
The narcotics were transferred to Warramunga and disposed at sea.
- 27-29 December 2017: 8 tonnes hashish, 69kg heroin, (from three vessels)
- 3 January 2018: 3.5 tonnes hashish
- 7 January 2018: 111kg heroin
- 24 January 2018: 915kg heroin [watch video]
- 1 February 2018: 414kg heroin
- 3 March 2018: hashish, approx 4.1 tonnes
- 4 March 2018: hashish, approx 3.9 tonnes
- 6 March 2018: heroin, approx 132 kilograms (this story)