HMS Montrose: Royal Navy seizes drugs worth £15m in Arabian Sea

The Royal Navy has seized drugs worth more than £15m from a boat in the Arabian Sea.

Hundreds of kilograms of crystal methamphetamine were recovered from the dhow by the crew of HMS Montrose in a six-hour operation.

It was the fifth drugs raid by the frigate this year.

HMS Montrose’s commanding officer said the seizure was a huge blow to criminal gangs and terrorists using drugs to fund their activities.

“Disrupting terrorist organisations, criminals and their funding lines is key to keeping to UK, and rest of the world, safe,” Commander Claire Thompson said.

A Navy spokesman said HMS Montrose sent a helicopter to track the movements of a suspect boat before specialist Royal Marines from 42 Commando seized control of it in choppy conditions.

An initial search turned up some drugs and the boarding team of sailors and Marines then found a hidden compartment behind a false bulkhead on the small boat.

In total, there was 870kg (1,918lb) of crystal methamphetamine on board, which the National Crime Agency said had a wholesale value of £15.5m.

HMS Montrose, based in Devonport, Plymouth, has been deployed in the Middle East since 2019.

It has seized an estimated £47m worth of drugs and two illegal arms shipments so far this year.

The frigate is part of the Saudi-led Combined Task Force 150, a partnership of 38 nations involved in maritime security operations across the Red and Arabian Seas, and parts of the Indian Ocean.

Source: BBC


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