HMAS Darwin strikes again against drug smugglers

Published on CMDR Fenn Kemp (author), ABIS Sarah Williams (photographer)

Topic(s): Operations

Over six tons of hashish seized during a recent boarding placed on the flight deck of HMAS Darwin, prior to destruction. Hashish was contained in 306 hessian bags each containing approximately 20 one kilogram coffee bags, a sample of which can be seen on top. (photo: ABIS Sarah Williams)
Over six tons of hashish seized during a recent boarding placed on the flight deck of HMAS Darwin, prior to destruction. Hashish was contained in 306 hessian bags each containing approximately 20 one kilogram coffee bags, a sample of which can be seen on top.

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 in, between 20-21 kilograms of drugs.
 
Darwin’s Commanding Officer, Commander Terry Morrison, said the removal of more than 6,248kg 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,” Commander Terry Morrison said.
 
HMAS Darwin is deployed under tasking to the Combined Maritime Forces and Combined Task Force 150, currently under United Kingdom command.

HMAS Darwin's boarding party team embarked on the ridged hull inflatable boats, approach a suspicious dhow to conduct a flag verification boarding.

HMAS Darwin's boarding party team embarked on the ridged hull inflatable boats, approach a suspicious dhow to conduct a flag verification boarding.


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 was 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. Australia, through the deployment of HMAS Darwin, is an important part of the coalition effort which supports Australian’s strategic interests,” Major General Orme said.
 
Combined Task Force 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 Combined Maritime Forces work 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 on the Navy Image Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20141887.