HMS Dragon 040319 CREDIT Royal Navy
Navy

HMS Dragon Makes Sixth Drug Bust In Three Months

The sale of the drugs is a known source of funding for terrorist organisations and criminal networks.

HMS Dragon 040319 CREDIT Royal Navy

HMS Dragon after seizing the narcotics (Picture: Royal Navy/MOD).

Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon has seized over 2,000 kg of hash while on patrol in the Indian Ocean.

This is the destroyer's sixth drugs bust in three months and it resulted in 101 bags of narcotics seized from a vessel.

"The outstanding work of HMS Dragon’s crew continues to be a credit to Britain and its Armed Force," said Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson.

The sale of these drugs is a known source of funding for terrorist organisations and criminal networks.

The Defence Secretary said:

"These significant seizures stop cash flow to terrorists, hurt criminal gangs who fund them and hinder the supply of harmful drugs to streets around the world, including Britain."

Wildcat helicopter over suspect vessel 040319 CREDIT Royal Navy.
Wildcat helicopter over suspect vessel (Picture: Royal Navy/MOD).

The suspect vessel was spotted by the warship’s Wildcat helicopter during a night-time sortie.

HMS Dragon decided to investigate further and launched her two fast sea boats, each one carrying a boarding team of sailors from HMS Dragon’s crew and Royal Marines from Plymouth-based 42 Commando.

They swooped on the dhow – a type of fishing vessel common in the Middle East – and questioned the master and his crew.

HMS Dragon approaches suspect vessel 040319 CREDIT Royal Navy
HMS Dragon fast boats approach suspect vessel (Picture: Royal Navy/MOD).

"After HMS Dragon tracked the dhow overnight, the boarding teams worked hard to search for the narcotics and were able to seize 101 bags of hashish," explained Lieutenant Jonathan Bennett, the officer in charge of the Royal Navy boarding team.

“The efforts of the boarding team in difficult conditions allowed the process to be quick and efficient."

HMS Dragon on operation 040319 CREDIT Royal Navy
HMS Dragon fast boat team on operation (Picture: Royal Navy/MOD).

After documenting their haul, the ship destroyed the narcotics before returning to patrols.

HMS Dragon will support counter-narcotics operations in the region throughout the remainder of her deployment in the Middle East.

The ship is currently operating in support of Combined Task Force 150 – a multinational group which works to disrupt piracy, drug smuggling and terrorism in the Gulf.