British frigate HMS Richmond has joined the EU mission in the Mediterranean to tackle migrant smugglers.
United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2240 (2015) gives her Commanding Officer the authority to conduct enforcement action on the high seas, including the boarding and seizing of boats suspected to be involved in migrant smuggling.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
“These new powers are an important step forward. We will now be able to board the boats and detain the smugglers.
Sending HMS Richmond to join HMS Enterprise in the Mediterranean shows Britain’s determination to tackle this trade in human misery at source. We’ll hit the traffickers hard.”
A liaison officer will be on board HMS Richmond to advise her crew on legal issues including the identification, collection and preservation of evidence which could be used in criminal proceedings.
HMS Richmond joins survey vessel HMS Enterprise which continues its task to locate the migrant smugglers.