Australian navy seizes drugs worth $415m on Arabian Sea


The commander of an Australian navy ship that intercepted a massive illegal drug shipment says it will have an impact on the flow of narcotics around the world.

The crew of HMAS Warramunga seized almost eight tonnes of hashish and 69kg of heroin, estimated to be valued at $415m, from drug smugglers on three vessels on the Arabian Sea between 27 and 29 December, the Royal Australian Navy said on Sunday.

“A thorough search by the boarding parties uncovered a large quantity of hashish and heroin intended for distribution around the world,” Warramunga commander Dugald Clelland said.

The operation was a culmination of months of planning and is the largest haul of hashish seized by an Australian ship on Middle East maritime security operations, Clelland said.

The commander of Australian forces in the Middle East, major general John Frewen, said the operation was an example of Australia’s long-term mission to ensure maritime security.

“This operation will impact on the flow of narcotics around the world and the use of drug money to fund extremist organisations,” Frewen said on Sunday.

The illegal drugs were transferred to Warramunga for later disposal at sea.