HMAS Darwin strikes again against drug smugglers
1 July 2014
HMAS Darwin has struck again against drug smugglers, intercepting another vessel in the Arabian Sea and seizing more than 6.2 tonnes of narcotics with an estimated street value of almost $250 million.
Darwin’s boarding parties located 315 bags hidden onboard the dhow. Each bag contained between 20 to 21 kilograms of hashish (also known as cannabis resin).
Darwin’s Commanding Officer, Commander Terry Morrison, said the removal of more than 6248kg of narcotics would have a significant impact on the funding of terrorist organisations.
“HMAS Darwin remains focused on countering terrorism and I am proud of the continued dedication and professionalism of the crew onboard Darwin and the role they play as part of the Combined Maritime Forces,” CMDR Terry Morrison said.
HMAS Darwin is deployed under tasking to the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, currently under United Kingdom command.
Commander of Australian Forces in the Middle East Area of Operations, Major General Craig Orme, said the deployment of HMAS Darwin to the Middle East as part of Joint Task Force 633 has an important role to support the coalition maritime mission.
“Each narcotic seizure impedes terrorist funding and is a success for the Combined Maritime Forces and Joint Task Force 633,” MAJGEN Orme said.
“Australia, through the deployment of HMAS Darwin, is an important part of the coalition effort which supports Australia’s strategic interests.”
CTF 150’s commander Commodore Jeremy Blunden of the Royal Navy praised the work of HMAS Darwin’s crew.
"Yet again HMAS Darwin has delivered an outstanding result. My congratulations to Commander Morrison and his very fine ship's company who have set new standards for professionalism and teamwork in counter narcotics activity in the Indian Ocean."
The CMF works to defeat terrorism, prevent piracy, encourage regional engagement, reduce illegal trafficking of people and drugs; and promote the maritime environment as a safe place for mariners with legitimate business.
HMAS Darwin is the 57th individual Royal Australian Navy ship deployment to the Middle East Area of operations since 1990.
Imagery is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20141887
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999