An Australian navy ship has seized over three tons of hashish worth about 155 million Australian dollars (112 million US dollars) during a boarding operation in the Arabian Sea, the Defence Department said Sunday.
The frigate HMAS Ballarat discovered 3.1 tons of the illegal drug after boarding a fishing vessel, known as a dhow, late on January 8 in international waters as part of a combined task force of 33 navies ensuring Middle East security.
Commander Paul Johnson, Ballarat’s commanding officer, said his boarding team found the drugs hidden in voids around the dhow.
“The seizure is a reflection of the continued trade in illegal narcotics which has the potential to fund terrorist groups across the region,” Johnson said in Sunday’s statement.
It is the sixth major seizure of drugs by the international task force in the past six weeks, and the third by HMAS Ballarat since November. The drugs were destroyed.
Over Christmas, Ballarat seized more than 900 kilogrammes of heroin, worth over 279 million dollars after boarding two dhows.