$300m of heroin seized by NZ defence force in high seas bust
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has helped seize around NZ$300m of heroin in a high seas bust on Wednesday.
Using surveillance information from a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P-3K2 Orion aircraft, an international naval coalition launched a raid against traffickers in the Western Indian Ocean.
A cache of 915kg of heroin was found on board their fishing vessel.
Two Royal New Zealand Navy sailors drove the sea boats to transport the boarding party and the cache of illegal narcotics seized.
It's not the first time Kiwis have helped with major busts. Between April and June 2017, tip-offs from a RNZAF Orion led the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) to bust three vessels trafficking 650kg of heroin worth about $400 million in the Indian Ocean.
"This latest seizure is a credit to both the NZDF and the Australian Navy and highlights the skill and professionalism of our personnel," Air Commodore Kevin McEvoy, the Acting Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said.
"More importantly, the fantastic result demonstrates how the NZDF directly supports the multinational effort to defeat terrorism and prevent drug trafficking through the CMF."
The CMF is a 32-nation naval partnership that promotes maritime security and seeks to defeat terrorism and prevent piracy and the trafficking of people and drugs across about 8.2 million square kilometres of international waters.