Royal Navy works with Royal Australian Navy on massive drug bust

Image: Royal Australian Navy
Image: Royal Australian Navy – Petty Officer Electronics Technician Leslie Floyd and Able Seaman Combat Systems Operator Shamira Alschwager relocate parcels of seized narcotics in the Middle East.

A Royal Navy crew has helped seize more than AU$181 million (US$141.7 million) of hashish that was being shipped across international waters.

Under the command of the Australian-led Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Fort Rosalie’s Royal Navy Sea King Mark 7 helicopter identified a suspicious boat while flying over the Arabian Sea, off the coast of Oman.

Australian ship HMAS Warramunga then intercepted it and found more than 3.5 tonnes of illicit substances.

The interdiction came just days after Warramunga, which started Middle East operations in November, seized narcotics from three vessels between December 27 and 29. The seizures included 69kg of heroin, valued at $596 million.

In addition to the haul, RFA Fort Rosalie was also able to rescue three young loggerhead turtles that were caught in fishing nets drifting through the water. The baby turtles were freed.

In 2017, CMF ships seized 22.67 tonnes of narcotics.

The CMF is a 32-nation partnership focused on defeating terrorism, preventing piracy, encouraging regional cooperation and promoting a safe maritime environment.

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