Combined Maritime Forces --
Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Arunta has seized 800
kg of hashish hidden in a consignment of coffee.
authority of Canadian-led and Australian supported Combined Task
Force 150 (CTF-150), HMAS Arunta seized the drugs in the Arabian Sea
in what was the ship’s first successful intercept since starting
counter terrorism operations in December 2016.
Commander Cameron Steil, Commanding Officer HMAS Arunta described
the lead-up to the dhow being intercepted:
"There were numerous suspicious elements regarding this vessel
and subsequently we conducted a thorough search.
"Narcotic smuggling is well known in this area with the smugglers
always trying to find new ways to hide cargo but our boarding
parties’ training, techniques and equipment are of the highest
The drugs have an estimated street value of approximately $36
million according to Australian Crime Commission figures.
Commander Steil added:
"Our combined efforts under CTF-150 improve the overall maritime
security, stability and prosperity in the region by denying
terrorist organisations their ability to move personnel, weapons or
narcotics and obstructing their capacity to raise funds."
Commodore Haydn Edmundson, Commander of Combined Task Force 150
"It’s due to the tenacity of the ship’s captain and crew that
illegal cargos like this seizure of hashish don’t make it to their
final destination, and that they do not enable funding for terrorist
"We, the CTF 150 team, are very proud of Arunta and her fine
Established in 2002, CTF-150 is primarily focused on disrupting
terrorist organisations and their unlawful activities by restricting
freedom of manoeuvre in the maritime domain.
In collaboration with regional and other partners CTF-150
promotes maritime security by denying terrorist organisations their
ability to move personnel, weapons or narcotics obstructing their
capacity to raise funds.
Commodore William Warrender Royal Navy, Deputy Commander Combined
Maritime Forces remarked upon the nature of the day-to-day tasking
that he is responsible for at CMF HQ:
"HMAS Arunta resumed her patrol on completion of the boarding and
continues to operate in the area working with other navies as part
of the 31 nation Combined Maritime Forces to ensure the free flow of
commerce and maritime security for all who use the sea legally.
"It is very much our desire that this success leads to more
seizures of illicit cargo."