The operation was part of the Combined Maritime Forces’ (CMF) Operation Sea Shield and was an international effort involving several of the CMF’s 33 member nations and partners, say the Royal Navy.
The drugs have a value of around £18 million.
“In rough seas, and aided by the ship’s Wildcat helicopter, sailors and Royal Marines conducted the boarding of the suspicious vessel, and during an extensive search discovered the 450kg haul hidden amongst the boat’s cargo.
Intercepting and boarding suspicious vessels at sea is a skilled operation, made more challenging by the threat of COVID. The ship’s medical team was responsible for de-contaminating all personnel and equipment, and specialist PPE was used throughout the boarding process.”
Commanding Officer of HMS Montrose Commander Charles Collins said:
“Every sailor and marine, airman and woman, alongside our international partners, should be proud to have contributed to the success of this operation which has undoubtedly kept millions of pounds of drugs off our streets.”
With four Mine Countermeasure Vessels, a forward deployed Type 23 Frigate and a Royal Fleet Auxiliary support ship permanently deployed in the Middle East, the MoD say that the UK remains committed to “keeping the region’s critical sea lanes free from illegal activity in order to maintain maritime security”.