HMS Defender crew with drugs seized in Indian Ocean 040220 CREDIT Royal Navy.jpg
Navy

HMS Defender Seizes £1m Of Drugs In Indian Ocean

The Royal Navy destroyer made her second drug bust in just two months.

HMS Defender crew with drugs seized in Indian Ocean 040220 CREDIT Royal Navy.jpg

Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender has seized 2,500kg of drugs in the Indian Ocean, worth £1 million.

The ship has been operating in support of Combined Task Force 150, an international effort to keep 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," said Commander Richard Hewitt, commanding officer of the ship.

During a sortie for possible illegitimate marine traffic, the warship's Wildcat helicopter spotted a suspicious dhow.

HMS Defender sent a boarding team of Royal Marines Commandos to investigate.

A Royal Navy team joined the Royal Marines Commandos once the dhow had been secured and discovered 2,500kg of hashish stashed in 119 bags hidden throughout the vessel.

"Thanks to the work of HMS Defender and her crew, these drugs will never reach the street and the criminal organisations responsible will be dented financially," Armed Forces Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said.

Fishing dow boarded by HMS Defender crew in Indian Ocean 040220 CREDIT Royal Navy.jpg
A total of 119 bags containing hashish were hidding throughout a dhow (Picture: Royal Navy).

This is the warship’s second significant drugs bust in little over two months, with the previous resulting in a record haul of crystal meth.

Last December HMS Defender seized 131kg of crystal meth – the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) largest-ever drugs haul.

"Once again, HMS Defender has done some terrific work and proven to be a high-value asset to CTF 150," Deputy Commander of CTF 150, Captain Sean Stewart, said.

"We continue to make an impact on terrorist and criminal organisations in the region, accomplishing CTF 150's mission of restricting their freedom of manouevre in the maritime domain."

HMS Defender and drugs seized in Indian Ocean 040220 CREDIT Royal Navy.jpg
2,500kg of hashish was stashed in 119 bags (Picture: Royal Navy).

Combined Task Force 150 is one of three task forces operating under CMF, a multinational naval partnership that protects 3.2 million square miles of international waters.

Thirty-three nations are part of the Combined Maritime Forces, sharing intelligence, assets and capabilities.

Cover image: Royal Navy.