HMAS Warramunga’s MH 60 Romeo helicopter was conducting routine aerial surveillance in the Arabian Sea when it detected a vessel of interest. HMAS Warramunga approached the dhow in international waters and upon investigation CTF 150 authorised a non-destructive search of the dhow. During that search, the boarding team located 132 kgs of heroin, valued over $30 million USD. After a thorough search, the heroin was catalogued and destroyed safely at sea.
Commander of CTF 150, Commodore Mal Wise, Royal Australian Navy, stated:
The illicit drug trade has had a profound effect on the lives of the people in East Africa. We know that heroin seizures like today’s will have a direct impact on the operations of terrorist organizations at distribution points in East Africa. Removing heroin from circulation reduces the funding resources available for terrorists, which then reduces their ability to inflict suffering on the communities in East Africa.
CTF 150, as part of CMF, aims to disrupt smuggling networks transferring illicit narcotics from Central Asia, through to East Africa. CTF 150 is currently under Australian command, staffed by a combined Canadian and Australian team and supported by assets from Australia, France, New Zealand, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and the US.