Tenth Successful Interdiction for HMAS Warramunga
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 seizure was conducted following the detection of a suspect vessel operating in the area by Warramunga’s Seahawk Romeo Helicopter. The subsequent boarding party search uncovered 120 packages of heroin, each weighing approximately one kilogram.
The Commanding Officer of HMAS Warramunga, Commander Dugald Clelland, RAN, put the additional success down to 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.”
Chief of Joint Operations Vice Admiral David Johnston, RAN, said this latest interdiction highlighted the professionalism of our people and also the importance of the work being undertaken by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).
“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.
Operation MANITOU is the Australian Government's contribution to support international efforts to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East Region.
Combined Taskforce 150 is one of three task forces operating under Combined Maritime Forces. Australia assumed command of Combined Task Force 150 in December 2017.
Summary of vessels interdicted with drugs by Warramunga:
- 27—29 December 2017: approx 8 tonnes hashish and 69 kilograms heroin, (three vessels interdicted over this period)
- 3 January 2018: hashish, approx 3.5 tonnes
- 7 January 2018: heroin, approx 111 kilograms
- 24 January 2018: heroin, approx 915 kilograms
- 1 February 2018: heroin, approx 414 kilograms
- 3 March 2018: hashish, approx 4.1 tonnes
- 4 March 2018: hashish, approx 3.9 tonnes
- 6 March 2018: heroin, approx 132 kilograms.
*Note: This calculation is a based on the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission Illicit Drug Data Report 2015–16 figures for Cannabis Resin (Hashish) @ AUD$50 per gram (p215) and Heroin @ AUD$300,000 per kilo (p216).