HMS Dragon makes sixth drugs seizure in three months

A Royal Navy warship has seized 2,000kg of hashish in its sixth drugs bust in the past three months.

Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon captured the 101 bags of the illegal drug while on patrol in the Indian Ocean.

In a previous raid last month, the Portsmouth-based warship seized 49kg of heroin with a street value of £9 million in the Gulf.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “The outstanding work of HMS Dragon’s crew continues to be a credit to Britain and its armed forces.

“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.”

Describing the boarding raid on the dhow, a local fishing vessel, a Royal Navy spokesman said: “The suspect vessel was spotted by the warship’s Wildcat helicopter during a night-time sortie.

“After closing in on the dhow and taking a closer look, HMS Dragon decided to investigate further.

“Launching 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.

“Questioning the master and his crew, suspicions were raised that the dhow was not likely to be conducting legal activities and the search began.”

HMS Dragon drugs seizure
HMS Dragon drugs seizure

Lieutenant Jonathan Bennett, the officer in charge of the Royal Navy boarding team, said: “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.

“The efforts of the boarding team in difficult conditions allowed the process to be quick and efficient, and we’re thrilled HMS Dragon scored her sixth drugs bust of the deployment.”

The navy spokesman said: “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.”