Royal Navy: HMS Lancaster seizes huge heroin and hashish haul as wildcat helicopter stalks dhow
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Crew aboard HMS Lancaster found over 200 packages aboard a dhow. The haul contained a total of 260kg of heroin and 200kg of hashish.
Defence secretary Grant Shapps praised the crew for carrying out their fourth drug bust in the Gulf this year. He said: “HMS Lancaster’s four seizures this year show clearly the benefit that our continuous presence in the Gulf is having for regional and global security.
"Our Armed Forces are globally deployed to maintain peace, security and stability and I am proud of how we continue to operate around the world to uphold international laws and keep people safe.”
Sailors and Royal Marines confiscated the narcotics after the Type 23 frigates’ Wildcat helicopter located the suspect vessel. The warship launched sea boats with a specialist boarding team from 42 Commando embarked, while the Wildcat circled overhead providing cover with Royal Marine snipers.
Sailors came aboard to begin their search for any illegal cargo after the vessel was secured by the marines. The drugs, weighing just under half a tonne, were transferred to HMS Lancaster in high temperatures.
Commander Chris Sharp, HMS Lancaster’s Commanding Officer said: “I continue to be proud the teamwork of the whole ship’s company, and their ability to achieve successful interdictions such as this one.
“It is a true team effort that requires a lot of moving parts to come together as a well-oiled machine, ultimately to stop the distribution of illicit narcotics. This success is shared with our international partners in Combined Task Force 150 who provided essential support to the operation.”
The frigate is forward deployed in the Middle East to maintain the Royal Navy’s presence in the Gulf. Alongside allies, she is tasked with anti-smuggling and anti-terrorist operations in the Indian Ocean – making regular patrols and being on call to respond to any situation.
The entire ship’s company were involved in the latest drugs bust. In June, £10m of narcotics was seized in two separate incidents, with crew also confiscating a £2.5m haul from smugglers in May.
HMS Lancaster has prevented more than £15m of illicit drugs from reaching their destinations.