HMAS Toowoomba has interdicted more than 3000 kilograms of illegal narcotics, including hashish and heroin, in the Gulf of Aden.

The Anzac-class frigate is deployed under Operation Manitou, Australia’s contribution to support international efforts to promote security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East region.

This is the first seizure by Toowoomba since arriving in the Middle East more than a month ago.

Commander Joint Task Force 633, Major General Susan Coyle, commended the personnel on board Toowoomba.

“The smugglers’ ingenuity in hiding the sizeable amount of drugs was overcome by hard work and lateral thinking from these well-trained teams,” Major General Coyle said.

“Sailors used specialised search techniques and equipment to discover the drugs, which were contained inside void spaces, and all of the narcotics were subsequently destroyed at sea.”

The seizure took place on March 19 in support of the Combined Maritime Forces, an enduring multinational task force of 33 nations committed to disrupting terrorist organisations and illegal activities in the maritime domain.

During her deployment, Toowoomba is also working with international partners to monitor and deter destabilising activity and support the safe passage of commercial and civilian shipping under the International Maritime Security Construct.

Imagery is available on the Navy Image Library: https://images.navy.gov.au/S20201210