HMAS Warramunga, currently deployed to the Middle East under Operation Manitou, has seized three separate cargos of illicit narcotics over three days, with a total value of approximately AUD$294 million*.
CAPTION: HMAS Warramunga boarding party members Able Seaman Corey Bartlett and Able Seaman Jacob Dun relocate parcels of seized narcotics. Photo by Leading Seaman Tom Gibson.
Warramunga has now intercepted, seized and disposed of approximately 31.8 tonnes of hashish and 2 tonnes of heroin, valued at around AUD$2.17 billion* since starting her current mission in the Middle East in November 2017.
The boarding operations were conducted in international waters of the Arabian Sea on 3, 4 and 5 June 2018.
The first seizure uncovered 3.3 tonnes of hashish from a suspect vessel.
Then Warramunga’s Seahawk Romeo helicopter crew identified the second and third suspicious vessels carrying 2600kg and 40kg of hashish respectively.
Commanding Officer HMAS Warramunga Commander Dugald Clelland said the ship’s company had shown determination and professionalism during the current patrol.
“The crew of HMAS Warramunga has been on deployment in the Middle East for more than six months, but everyone onboard remains focused on the mission at hand,” Commander Clelland said.
“Three successful seizures for Warramunga and taking over AUD$2 billion out of the hands of terrorist networks lifts the morale of the crew, who have all worked exceptionally well together throughout the deployment.”
Operation Manitou is the Australian government’s contribution to support international efforts to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East Region.
Warramunga is part of the Combined Maritime Forces operating under the United Kingdom-led Combined Task Force 150.
Summary of drug interdictions by HMAS Warramunga:
- 27-29 December 2017: 8 tonnes hashish, 69kg heroin, (from three vessels)(with video)
- 3 January 2018: 3.5 tonnes hashish
- 7 January 2018: 111kg heroin (with video)
- 24 January 2018: 915kg heroin (with video)
- 1 February 2018: 414kg heroin (with video)
- 3 March 2018: hashish, approx 4.1 tonnes (with video)
- 4 March 2018: hashish, approx 3.9 tonnes (with video)
- 6 March 2018: heroin, approx 132kg (with video)
- 10 May 2018: heroin, approx 295kg
- 21-22 May 2018: hashish, aprox 6.2 tonnes
- 3-5 June 2018: hashish, 6.3 tonnes (this story)
* Value is a based on the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission Illicit Drug Data Report 2015–16 figures for Cannabis Resin (Hashish) @ AUD$50,000 per kilogram (p215) and Heroin @ AUD$300,000 per kilogram (p216).