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Royal Navy leads multinational task force in major drugs bust

Money from the sale of drugs will never line the pockets of terrorist groups after thousands of kilograms of hashish were seized in a Royal Navy-led operation in the Gulf.

Combined Task Force 150 (CTF150), commanded by a UK team, oversaw three successful drugs busts in three days this week, all carried out by the Australian Navy ship HMAS Warramunga.

On Sunday (3 June 18), the Warramunga was authorised by Royal Navy Commodore Steve Moorhouse, the Commander of CTF150, to board a suspicious vessel in the Indian Ocean. A carefully-conducted search lasting several hours revealed an illegal cargo of hashish weighing in at 3,253 kilograms.

This was followed on Monday (4 June 18) by a further seizure of 2,593 kilograms of hashish after another suspicious vessel was boarded and searched. Finally on Tuesday (5 June 2018) HMAS Warramunga closed on a third vessel and seized a further 40 kilograms. It takes the number of seizures carried out by the Australian ship since the start of her deployment to 16.



Commodore Steve Moorhouse is the Commander of CTF150 and the future Captain of HMS Prince of Wales, the Royal Navy’s second new aircraft carrier. He said: “It remains business as usual for CTF150 as we continue our important and enduring mission to ensure the Western Indian Ocean remains the sole preserve of legitimate seafarers. 

“CTF 150’s resolve is as strong as ever and HMAS Warramunga’s continued success in seizing narcotics, with her total now standing at 16 successful interdictions, is a testament to the determination and professionalism of her ship’s company.”

Disrupting the flow of narcotics across the Indian Ocean is a key part of CTF150’s mission to prevent illicit activity on the high seas. It also prevents the funding of terrorist organisations by starving them of the funding necessary for them to conduct their attacks.

All of the seized drugs were destroyed by the crew of HMAS Warramunga. 

Commodore Moorhouse, the first designated commanding officer of HMS Prince of Wales, took charge of the international task force CTF150 last month. 

HMS Prince of Wales, the second of the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers, is currently nearing the final stages of her build in Rosyth, Scotland.

Images courtesy of the Royal Australian Navy.

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