An Australian warship patrolling in the Middle East has seized a haul of 581 kilogrammes (1,280 pounds) of heroin with an estimated street value of more than half a billion US dollars, a naval official said Wednesday.
Commander of Australia's Joint Task Force 633, Brigadier Nagy Sorial, said it was the second largest haul ever by the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), a 30-nation naval partnership which patrols 2.5 million square miles of international waters.
"The weekend's find made Australia's maritime contribution to CMF one of the world's most effective current heroin interdiction forces," Sorial said in a statement.
HMAS Newcastle intercepted a stateless dhow off the east African coast where her boarding party uncovered the drugs, the statement added, without saying which country's shoreline it was closest to.
The guided missile frigate enforces maritime security with a focus on terrorist activity and piracy in the Middle East and Indian Ocean regions, as part of the US-led Combined Task Force, which operates under the CMF.