Australian and NZ ships hamper terrorism drug revenue

HMAS Toowoomba served a five month deployment to the Middle East Region last year.
HMAS Toowoomba served a five month deployment to the Middle East Region last year. CPOIS David Connolly

AUSTRALIAN and New Zealand frigates operating in the Middle East over the past six weeks have seized almost a tonne of drugs worth more than $800 million.

The ships were operating in the region as part of a two-month combined counter-terrorism and counter-narcotic maritime operation.

Australia's HMAS Newcastle netted 724kg of drugs worth an estimated $597 million and New Zealand's HMNZS Te Kaha seized 257kg worth an estimated $214 million.

HMAS Newcastle's commanding officer Commander Dominic MacNamara said the seizures denied a key source of funding to terrorist organisations.

"These interdictions demonstrate that the Royal Australian Navy and Combined Maritime Forces are serious about removing these streams of revenue from terrorists," he said.

"Newcastle's crew is focused on the mission and is doing Australia proud in the eyes of the international community that is the Combined Maritime Force.

"There are 30 nations working together to achieve these results and our success is a testament to the combined professionalism of all these forces."

Topics:  australia drugs middle east navy new zealand terrorism

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