HMS Dragon makes seventh successful drugs bust in Middle East (Picture: Royal Navy).
Navy

HMS Dragon Seizes £56m Of Heroin

Dragon now holds the records for both the number of successful busts and the total weight of drugs seized by a Navy ship in the Middle East.

HMS Dragon makes seventh successful drugs bust in Middle East (Picture: Royal Navy).

HMS Dragon's crew following the bust (Picture: Royal Navy).

Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon has seized 224kg of heroin, worth £56 million, in the Middle East. 

It is the seventh drugs bust the ship has made since November 2018 - bringing her total deployment haul to £145 million.

The warship made the bust as she made her journey back to the UK when the crew spotted a suspicious-looking fishing vessel while passing through the Arabian Sea.

A Royal Marine sniper kept a close eye on the suspect vessel from a Wildcat helicopter as the ship deployed two fast seaboats in darkness and boarded it.

HMS Dragon's fast seaboat (Picture: Royal Navy).
HMS Dragon deployed seaboats during the bust (Picture: Royal Navy).

After a brief search, the stash of heroin was discovered beneath a fuel tank on the small fishing boat.

Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering) Thomas Jones Leah made the discovery. 

"I was searching the engine space when I noticed a sack underneath one of the fuel tanks," he said.

"We removed the sack and exposed more sacks, all containing small packages.

"It was hard work in a hot and small compartment but when it was confirmed it was heroin inside it felt like a job well done."

The narcotics were later destroyed.

HMS Dragon (Picture: Royal Navy).
(Picture: Royal Navy).

Since deployment in September 2018, HMS Dragon has seized 15,246kg of hash, 455kg of heroin, and 9kg of crystal meth.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson praised the work of HMS Dragon as "outstanding", stating they "fully deserve their place in the record books".

He added: "While we celebrate this success, we recognise there still more criminals out there who are spreading harmful drugs around the world and funding terrorist organisations."

HMS Dragon will now hand over to Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose, who will soon begin her own time on patrol in the Middle East.

HMS Dragon has been involved in a range of operations and exercises during her time in the Gulf, working with other navies to build relationships and help secure some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.