Royal Australian Navy seizes illegal drug shipments in the Middle East

Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Ballarat has seized more than 2.1 tonnes of hashish and 345 kilograms of heroin in two boarding operations in the Arabian Sea.

The narcotics seizures, worth approximately $105 million* and $103.5 million* respectively, took place on 28 and 29 January 2019 as part of Operation Manitou.

Commanding Officer of HMAS Ballarat, Commander Paul Johnson, said Ballarat conducted the flag verification boardings following the observation of two fishing vessels, known as dhows, exhibiting suspicious behaviour.