HMAS Melbourne Seizes $11.3M Drugs in Arabian Sea [PHOTOS]

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By Athena Yenko | December 20, 2013 9:56 AM EST

The Department of Defence confirmed nabbing and destroying $11.3 million worth of amphetamines in two separate operations along the Arabian Sea as part of the Combined Maritime Forces.

The two operations were conducted on board the HMAs Melbourne.

Commander Brian Schlegel, Commanding Officer HMAS Melbourne, commends the boarding teams who were involved during the two operations.

"The boarding party, operations team, flight crew and for that matter all of the Ship's Company conducted themselves in a highly professional manner during these boarding operations," Commander Schlegel said. "The Ship's Company can be proud that within a week we have made two drug seizures, the first was 9.8kg of amphetamines and today we have seized another 8kg," he added.

During the first boarding on Dec 13, the boarding party on HMAs Melbourne was able to nab amphetamines worth $6.2 million.

For the second boarding on Dec 16, the boarding party nabbed amphetamines worth $5.1 million.

The boarding parties were successful at seizing the illegal drugs through conducting a thorough search of the dhows. They identified the drugs trough conducting standard security sweeps and tests onboard that returned positive readings for amphetamine-based substances.

Commodore Daryl Bates, AM, RAN, the Australian Commander of Combined Task Force 150 was all praises for Melbourne's efforts and the other nations involved including the U.S. Navy P-3C aircraft and Canadian ship HMCS Toronto.

According to the Commodore, the removal of 8 and 9.8 kg of amphetamines not only will have an impact on the funding of terrorist organisations but also prove the value of Australia's contribution to the Combined Maritime Forces. "The successful outcome of this highly complex operation, involving multiple military units from three separate countries including the United States and Canada is testimony to the effectiveness of the 29-nation Combined Maritime Forces and the important role it plays," Mr Bates said.

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