HMS Montrose's ship's company pictured with the drugs haul spelling out the ship's pennant number on the flight deck (Picture: Royal Navy).
HMS Montrose's ship's company pictured with the drugs haul spelling out the ship's pennant number on the flight deck (Picture: Royal Navy).
Navy

Heaviest drugs bust in a decade made by Royal Navy

HMS Montrose's ship's company pictured with the drugs haul spelling out the ship's pennant number on the flight deck (Picture: Royal Navy).
HMS Montrose's ship's company pictured with the drugs haul spelling out the ship's pennant number on the flight deck (Picture: Royal Navy).

HMS Montrose's sailors and Royal Marines have seized 6.5 tonnes of hashish, the heaviest haul of drugs seized by allied warships in the Middle East in 10 years.

The hashish, also known as cannabis resin is estimated to have a UK wholesale value of £6.5m.

After five hours bagging up the drugs, they were destroyed.

The dawn raid on a suspect ship is the third strike on drug traffickers by HMS Montrose in two months.

The operation was carried out in the Gulf of Oman, where the Bahrain-based vessel has prevented an estimated £95m worth of drugs from being successfully smuggled by traffickers since the beginning of her extended Middle East mission three years ago.

The crew was working for the international Combined Task Force 150, which tackles terrorism and criminal activity in the region.

Lieutenant Joe Martin, the Royal Marines boarding officer, said he was proud of the team: "We conducted this boarding efficiently using the experience we've gained over the past three months.

"We learn each time we board a vessel, never resting on our laurels and continually honing our edge."

A Royal Marine hands a sailor on HMS Montrose a sack of hashish to be destroyed (Picture: Royal Navy).
A Royal Marine hands a sailor on HMS Montrose a sack of hashish to be destroyed (Picture: Royal Navy).

The frigate's Commanding Officer, Commander Claire Thompson, said the ship's company had "proven their capability in the battle against illegal and illicit activity in the region".

"These results only happen because of the collective effort and skill of the incredibly professional, highly-trained and dedicated people that the Royal Navy employs and that I have the privilege to command," she said.

Commodore Adrian Fryer, the senior Royal Navy officer in the Gulf region, said the success underscored the importance of the frigate's long-term presence in the region.

"It is extremely rewarding to see the hard work of our sailors pay off with such a large-scale seizure and I know they will be as proud of their work as I am of them.

"Actions like this deprive criminal and terrorist organisations of the funds they need to function and has a positive impact both here in the Middle East region and in the parts of the world, including the UK, that these narcotics would have been eventually sold," he added.