Aus naval officers play part in $100m heroin drug bust

AN AUSTRALIAN-led taskforce has seized 500kg of heroin, with an estimated street value of $100 million, off the coast of Tanzania, making it one of the largest drug hauls in maritime history.

HMAS Toowoomba and Canadian warship HMCS Toronto tracked and boarded the vessel carrying the drugs in the Indian Ocean near Tanzania on Friday.

Commodore Charles McHardie, the commander of Combined Taskforce 150, said Australian-led intelligence gathering, planning, co-ordination and direction were central to the mission's success.

Heroin trafficking was a major source of financial supply for terrorist activity, he said.

"The destruction of this cargo strikes at the financial heart of global terrorist organisations," Cmdr McHardie said.

The operation was part of Focused Operation Southern Sweep, which is designed to assist counter-terrorism efforts.

Focused Operation Southern Sweep aims to disrupt the movement of heroin from Afghanistan into East Africa.

CTF150 is one of three task forces commanded by the Combined Maritime Forces, which includes 27 nations in the naval partnership.

Topics:  australian defence force crime drugs heroin hmas toowoomba tanzania

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