Press "Enter" to skip to content

Royal Navy Deals “Decisive Blow” to Drug Smugglers in the Middle East

Royal Navy intercepts drug smuggling in middle east
© David Clode

The Royal Navy has flexed its muscle against international drug trafficking with a successful two-day operation in the Indian Ocean. HMS Lancaster, a Royal Navy warship, seized a staggering £33 million worth of illegal drugs in separate busts within a 24-hour period, dealing a significant blow to criminal networks.

This operation comes hot on the heels of HMS Trent’s success in the Caribbean, where they seized a substantial amount of narcotics valued at £17 million. The Royal Navy’s recent achievements highlight their unwavering commitment to disrupting drug smuggling operations across the globe.

HMS Lancaster’s Impressive Double Take

Operating under the Canadian-led Combined Task Force 150, HMS Lancaster was on its first security patrol after training when its Wildcat helicopter spotted a suspicious vessel. This initial bust involved a meticulous eight-hour operation. Royal Marines from 42 Commando secured the vessel, allowing sailors to board and conduct a thorough search. Their efforts yielded nearly 100 packages containing heroin and crystal meth.

Undeterred, the crew continued their vigilance. Shortly after this success, the Wildcat helicopter, crewed by 815 Naval Air Squadron, embarked on a dusk patrol for another sweep of the Indian Ocean. Their sharp eyes located another suspicious vessel. The ship tracked the target throughout the night, and commandos swiftly boarded and secured the dhow at dawn. Working alongside sailors, they conducted a comprehensive search, this time uncovering a staggering 2.4 tonnes of hashish.

The combined hauls from both busts amounted to a remarkable 3.7 tonnes of illegal drugs, with a street value estimated at just under £33 million by the National Crime Agency.

Praise for the Crew’s “Relentless Effort”

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps lauded the crew of HMS Lancaster and the Royal Marine Commandos for their outstanding achievement. He emphasised the “important role our Navy plays policing the oceans” and commended their “relentless effort and professionalism” for dealing “another decisive blow to criminal networks.”

This double bust serves as a testament to the Royal Navy’s unwavering commitment to combating drug trafficking. Their swift response, meticulous searches, and seamless collaboration between the crew and Royal Marines demonstrate a highly effective force dedicated to maintaining security on the world’s oceans.