Navy Seizes £81m Of Cocaine In Triple Drug Bust

A Royal Navy task group has helped to seize cocaine, worth an estimated £81m, after carrying out three drug busts in Caribbean waters.

Sailors, Royal Marines and the US Coast Guard team on board RFA Argus hauled 358kg of cocaine in the first bust.

This was followed up by HMS Medway and her US Coast Guard team catching traffickers during two interceptions inside 24 hours in the Caribbean Sea, seeing a further 650kg seized.

In the first success, an American maritime patrol aircraft spotted a suspicious vessel and reported it to RFA Argus, which changed course to investigate, using squalls as cover.

Once she approached the target craft, Royal Marines were spotted by the suspects, who started to throw their cargo overboard.

Both the suspects and their seized cargo were brought back to RFA Argus before being transferred to US Coast Guard cutter Spencer.

Royal Navy personnel handling cocaine after seizing an estimated £81m worth in the Caribbean Sea
In total. the cocaine seized during the three busts is estimated to be worth £81m by the National Crime Agency (Picture: Royal Navy).

A few days later, offshore patrol ship HMS Medway, after receiving reports of a suspicious go-fast, diverted course and launched sea boats piloted by Navy sailors and with a US Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment on board.

In the first bust, 16 bales of cocaine and three detainees were captured, which saw HMS Medway catch up with the suspect craft from 45 miles out.

Just a day later, HMS Medway gave chase to another craft, landing a further nine bales and three more detainees.

The detainees and the seized drugs have now been handed over to US authorities, with HMS Medway resuming patrols of the region.

RFA Argus and HMS Medway are deployed to the Caribbean to support island communities during hurricane season, but also carry out maritime security and counter-narcotics operations with the UK National Crime Agency.

Cover image: HMS Medway's crew with the cocaine they seized in the Caribbean, one of three interceptions with an estimated £81m of cocaine seized (Picture: Royal Navy).

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