The Royal Navy frigate has reportedly seized £36m worth of cocaine from a vessel following a midnight chase across the Caribbean. This is the third time the ship has intercepted drug smugglers, having now clocked up a total of 1,600kg of cocaine with a combined value of more than £68m. Recently in addition to confiscating drugs, HMS Argyll provided assistance to Bermuda in the wake of Hurricane Gonzalo.
The Plymouth based frigate apprehended the drug smuggling boat after being alerted by a US customs aircraft, which directed the ship to intercept. HMS Argyll was pushed to maximum speed and quickly closed the 70 mile gap between them and the smugglers.
Lieutenant Matthew Turner said:
“It was an intense couple of hours as we were trying to out-think and out-maneuver a small boat which can change direction in an instant. I think our training, during which we push the ship and ourselves to the limit, really helped us to make this operation such a success.”
HMS Argyll’s commanding officer Paul Hammond said:
“This night time drugs seizure had no helicopter support and was our most challenging and satisfying yet. The Royal Navy has helped remove a large quantity of drugs from circulation and that, along with our disaster relief and engagement work, has helped demonstrate the value for money a modern day warship provides.”
HMS Argyll is currently taking part in Operation Martillo, a large scale 15 nation effort to deny drug crime gangs access to the Carribean region by air and sea.