The crew of HMS Montrose show off their drugs haul on the frigate's flight deck (Picture: Royal Navy).
Navy

£1.8m heroin haul for HMS Montrose

Drugs bust is the fourth in as many months for Royal Navy in the Middle East.

The crew of HMS Montrose show off their drugs haul on the frigate's flight deck (Picture: Royal Navy).

HMS Montrose crew has seized heroin with a street value of £1.8m in a sweep on drug traffickers while on patrol in the Gulf of Oman.

The haul is the fourth in as many months by the Royal Navy, with the frigate alone accounting for the seizure of illicit drugs worth £97m since January.

The ship pounced on a dhow while conducting an operation as part of an international task force dedicated to stopping criminal and terrorist activity.

After a team of Royal Marines secured the suspect vessel, sailors scoured the craft from bow to stern in a nine-hour operation, discovering sacks containing 90kg of heroin.

HMS Montrose was operating in the Gulf of Oman at the time of the drugs bust (Picture: Royal Navy).

Montrose's success means more than 18 tonnes of drugs have been kept off the streets of the UK – and other countries – since she began operating in the Middle East at the start of 2019.

Commenting on the success, Armed Forces Minister James Heappey described the Royal Navy as "world-leading" in denying criminals a source of income via illegal drug trafficking. 

He said: "Our sailors are operating side by side with allies and friends, upholding the international rules-based system and promoting global security."

The frigate's boarding teams approached the suspect dhow ahead of discovering heroin with a street value of £1.8m (Picture: Royal Navy).

Lieutenant Chris Bonnick, the Royal Marine in charge of HMS Montrose's commando detachment, said the team on board was delighted with the latest success.

"At 42 Commando we train for this type of work constantly and it is fantastic to see that training deliver operational success with our Royal Navy colleagues," he said.

Montrose was working with the Pakistani-led Combined Task Force 150, one of four naval groups spread across more than three million square miles of ocean, from the Red Sea to the western seaboard of the Indian sub-continent.

They operate under the banner of the Bahrain-based Combined Maritime Forces, a coalition of more than 30 nations committed to the safety and security in the Middle East.