HMS Montrose after seizing nearly £15m of drugs in the Gulf of Oman (Picture: MOD).
Navy

Royal Navy seizes almost £15m of drugs in Gulf of Oman

In total, 663kg of heroin, 87kg methamphetamine and 291kg of hashish and marijuana was seized by HMS Montrose.

HMS Montrose after seizing nearly £15m of drugs in the Gulf of Oman (Picture: MOD).

A Royal Navy ship has seized more than a tonne of illicit drugs, worth almost £15m, in the Gulf of Oman.

In an operation lasting almost 10 hours, a Navy team from HMS Montrose, including Royal Marines, approached the small boat on two Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boats before securing and searching the vessel.

The illicit substances were then brought back to HMS Montrose for analysis and destroyed.

In total, 663kg of heroin, 87kg methamphetamine and 291kg of hashish and marijuana was seized.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the bust leaves the UK safer and has "choked off a huge source of finance to international organised crime groups".

This is the largest Royal Navy drugs bust since HMS Montrose seized 2.4 tonnes of illicit substances in the Arabian Sea last year.

Commander Claire Thompson, Commanding Officer of HMS Montrose, said she was "extremely proud" of her team.

The drugs were brought back to HMS Montrose for analysis and then destroyed (Picture: MOD).

"Our enduring presence never wanes," she said.

"Nine rotations into the forward-deployed model, HMS Montrose remains as professional and enthusiastic as ever."

HMS Montrose has been deployed to the region since early 2019, supporting maritime security operations and multi-national task forces in the Middle East.

The warship regularly works alongside international partners as part of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) – made up of 34 nations to counter illicit non-state actors.

Commodore Adrian Fryer, UK Maritime Component Commander and CMF's Deputy Commander, said he was "delighted" with the bust.

"The Royal Navy's role in the region includes finding and disposing of illicit drugs on the high sea," he said.

"This disrupts the finance revenues of organised crime and terrorist organisations, and the crew of HMS Montrose and the staff of Combined Maritime Forces should be proud of the work they are doing; it makes a real difference and I look forward to continued success."