Narcotics Worth Over AUD$1 Billion Seized Over 10 Operations in Middle East by Australian Frigate

May 29: The crew of Australia’s HMAS Ballarat has stopped illegal narcotics in excess of AUD$1 billion from funding terrorism and other illegal activity.

The Australian Navy frigate recently seized over 12.9 tonnes of hashish, 1.4 tonnes of heroin and a small amount of methylamphetamines, with a combined estimated worth of AUD$1.073 billion.

The combined hauls were confiscated in 10 separate seizure operations, with the latest occurring on 10 May 2019.

During this seizure, the boarding team took custody of over three tonnes of hashish with an estimated street value of AUD$53 million.

HMAS Ballarat has conducted 31 boardings since deploying to the Middle East on Operation Manitou in November 2018.

Operation Manitou is the name for the Australian Government’s contribution to international efforts to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East.

This is the second deployment to the Middle East for HMAS Ballarat and the 67th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy vessel in the region since 1990.

Commanding Officer of HMAS Ballarat, Commander Paul Johnson said the ship’s company had contributed to the long history of Australia’s commitment to the Combined Maritime Forces in the Middle East.

Source: Australian Department of Defence

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