The United Arab Emirates joined the United States-led commission aiming to protect marine safety, navigation and worldwide trade. The Director of the International Security Cooperation Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation noted that this alliance adds to worldwide as well as local attempts to prevent threats to marine navigation and global trade, contributing to the conservation of international tranquility and safety and thus establishing the flow of energy supplies to the global economy.
The Australian Government is reaffirming its commitment to freedom of navigation and safe passage through the Strait of Hormuz, by announcing it will support an international maritime security mission. This mission will see the Australian Defence Force work alongside its international partners to ensure the security of merchant vessels in the Strait of Hormuz.
Australian Minister for Defence, Linda Reynolds, stated to reporters during the annual US-Australian security talks in Sydney, that the US request, to join in the coalition to protect the vessels that sail in the Strait of Hormuz, is seriously taken under consideration.
HMAS Ballarat, the Australian Navy frigate, seized more than 12.9 tonnes of hashish, 1.4 tonnes of heroin and a small amount of methyl amphetamines, with a combined worth of A$1.073 billion ($740 million). The hauls were seized in 10 separate seizure procedures; The last one took place on May 10, 2019.
The District Court of Western Australia has convicted and imposed fines on a multi-national energy corporation for importing gaskets containing asbestos, even though the court found the company had imported the asbestos inadvertently.
A joint operation between the Australian Border Force, Australian Federal Police and Queensland Police Service concluded in the arrest of a fugitive allegedly attempting to flee Australia on a jet ski. It was identified the individual was likely a 57-year-old UK national who was subject to an outstanding warrant for drug related charges in Western Australia.
Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Ballarat has seized over 900 kilos of heroin worth approximately $279 million during two boarding operations that occurred in 21-23 December 18 as part of Operation MANITOU. 165 kilos of heroin was found on the first dhow, and 766 kg on a second.
On the 13th East Asia Summit at Singapore in mid-November, the Quad countries, namely India, US, Japan and Australia, are expected to revitalise the conversation concerning the maritime security and disaster relief initiatives as well as economic development projects in the critical Indo-Pacific region.
Australia revealed intentions to cooperate with regional partners for setting up a Pacific Fusion Centre, that will provide strategic analysis of information to help strengthen maritime domain awareness and provide security alerts and advice for Pacific security agencies.
As part of Australia’s and the Philippines’ cooperation, defense forces will also work together to strengthen intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in the southern Philippines, as well as enhancing maritime security engagement and maritime patrols between the two countries.
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