NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 28 – Australia has clarified that the heroin haul seized on Friday was not intercepted in Kenyan territory, but in international waters.
The Australian High Commission in Nairobi says HMAS Darwin did not enter Kenyan territorial waters during the operation.
In a statement, the commission further explained that the operation was undertaken by the crew of HMAS Darwin, but it was an international operation under the command of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and the UK led Combined Task Force (CTF) 150.
“The Australian High Commission wishes to inform the media of the following information relating to the recent seizure by Australian ship HMAS Darwin of 1,032 kilograms of heroin from a dhow on the high seas east of Kenya on 23/24 April 2014: The seizure took place in international waters,” the mission said.
“No Australian asset entered Kenya’s territorial waters; Australia currently has no information that links this incident to Kenya. The reference to Kenya in the Australian media release was to provide background geographical information only.”
The commissions also noted that, “HMAS Darwin is currently deployed on patrol under tasking to the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and the UK led Combined Task Force (CTF) 150.”
“The Australian High Commission had no involvement in the operation. This operation was undertaken by the crew of HMAS Darwin, but it was an international operation under the command of the CMF and CTF150.”
Australian Navy sailors patrolling the coast of Africa said they had seized more than 1 tonne of heroin on a suspicious sailing boat.
The Navy estimated the street value of the heroin at $290 million (over Sh20bn).
The Foreign Affairs ministry had on Sunday summoned the Australian High Commissioner to Kenya over the seizure.
Ministry officials had said the envoy was expected to meet with Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed among other Kenya senior State officials and explain if he had any information about the matter.