ANOTHER four illicit drug shipments have been seized as HMAS Ballarat continues its patrol of the Middle East.
The Royal Australian Navy frigate undertook four boardings from June 2-5 conducting routine searches within the Arabian Sea.
The drug seizures included a large quantity of hashish and illegal narcotics weighing a combined total of 5.8 tonnes, the equivalent weight of five cars.
Commanding Officer, Commander Paul Johnson said the suspicious vessels, known as dhows, were believed to be engaging in illegal activity when HMAS Ballarat conducted the boardings under the authority of the Combined Task Force 150.
READ MORE: HMAS Ballarat working to keep the seas safe
"Our goal is to disrupt the sources of funding for terrorism and deny the narcotics trade in the Middle East," Commander Johnson said.
"In support of the Combined Maritime Forces, we aggressively pursued a number of vessels, which had shown signs of smuggling illegal narcotics.
"The team have been working hard to track, intercept and board these vessels in some difficult conditions."
The recent hauls now brings the total number of seizures by HMAS Ballarat to 14 during the nine-month deployment to the region since October 2018. The crew is expected to return to Australia in July
Operation MANITOU is Australia's contribution to support international efforts to promote maritime security and stability in the Middle East.
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