Royal Navy destroyer makes her second drug bust

Ministry of Defence
Feb 5 · 3 min read

Royal Navy destroyer, HMS Defender has dealt another blow to the funding of terrorism after seizing 2,500kg of ‘hash’ worth £1 million in the Indian Ocean.

Member of the crew on-board weighing and documenting one of the hash packages.

This is the warship’s second drugs bust in just a few months, after seizing a record haul of crystal meth in December.

The Portsmouth-based ship has been operating in support of the Combined Task Force 150 — an international team keeping the seas around the Gulf secure.

“Once again Defender has been able to seize a significant amount of narcotics, reinforcing the Royal Navy’s commitment to ensuring maritime security by disrupting the operations of drug smugglers and terrorists.”

The drugs bust unfolded after Defender launched her Wildcat helicopter to begin a search for possible illegal and illegitimate marine traffic in the Indian Ocean.

Before long, a suspicious dhow (a traditional sailing vessel) was identified and HMS Defender sent a boarding team of Royal Marine Commandos, commanded by RM Lieutenant Ben Clink, to investigate.

The fishing dhow which HMS Defender boarded and seized 2.4 tonnes of hash.

Once the Royal Marines had secured the dhow, a Royal Navy team followed and searched the vessel for illicit cargo.

The boarding party discovered 2,500kg of hashish (AKA ‘hash’) in 119 bags hidden throughout the dhow. The combined value of the drugs is £1 million.

“This is yet another example of the Royal Navy putting their first-class operational training to use, interrupting drugs traffickers active in the region.”

Defender’s haul of 131kg of crystal meth in December 2019 was the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) largest ever. It took CMF’s total crystal meth seizures for 2019 to 257kg, compared to only 9kg in 2018.

The UK has a long-standing maritime security presence in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean. Since 1980, ships of both the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary have maintained a presence there 365 days a year.

Currently, the Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose is stationed in the Gulf as part of the Royal Navy’s forward presence. Ensuring peace, stability, and the free flow of trade through some of the world’s most vital shipping lanes.

Find out where else the UK Armed Forces are deployed here:

Voices Of The Armed Forces

Stories from the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the UK…

Ministry of Defence

Written by

DefenceHQ is the official corporate news channel of the UK Ministry of Defence.

Voices Of The Armed Forces

Stories from the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the UK Armed Forces around the globe.

More From Medium

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade