Nowra flight crew in record drug haul

ROYAL Australian Navy crews seized 5.6 tonnes of cannabis resin valued at an estimated $280 million in waters off Africa.

The crew from HMAS Toowoomba, with a Seahawk helicopter from 816 Squadron at HMAS Albatross aboard, found the drugs stowed in a hidden compartment on board a fishing dhow.

Toowoomba and its helicopter are deployed to the Middle East Region as part of Operation Manitou, on patrol as part of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and the Pakistan-led Combined Task Force (CTF) 150.

Commanding officer, Commander Cath Hayes said the significant drug haul was a result of close teamwork between Toowoomba and Australia’s international partners in the Combined Maritime Forces.

“I am proud of the tenacity and hard work displayed by the Toowoomba team to intercept and board the dhow in challenging weather conditions, before a search of the vessel to locate the concealed drugs,” she said.

Over the last few years Nowra based helicopters have played a major role in drug seizures in the region, acting as the eyes and ears of deployed ships, and directing boarding parties as they search suspect vessels.

HIGH SEAS: The helicopter flight deck of HMAS Toowoomba covered with cannabis following a $280 million drug haul off the coast of Africa.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.