Sailors and Royal Marines from HMS Montrose bagged more than a tonne of cannabis in the Persian Gulf, say the Royal Navy.
HMS Montrose is permanently deployed to the UK’s Naval Support Facility in Bahrain and run by two crews – one aboard, one back in Britain enjoying leave/undergoing training – allowing the Royal Navy to maintain a forward presence in the Middle East, rather than repeatedly deploying/bringing home a frigate to and from the region.
According to a Royal Navy news release,
“The team from HMS Montrose recovered bales of hash from the waters of the Gulf of Oman – then found a secret narcotics cache hidden aboard a dhow during a two-day operation which resulted in a haul worth more than £6m on the streets of the UK being seized by the Royal Navy frigate. It’s the second haul of hashish seized by the Royal Navy in three weeks; HMS Defender captured two and a half tonnes of the drug. And it’s the second success for HMS Montrose, which intercepted a cargo of crystal meth and heroin in October worth around £1m.”
“This seizure is another impressive demonstration of the Royal Navy’s vital work around the world,” said Armed Forces Minister James Heappey.
“Our servicemen and women, once again, have proved that their skill and professionalism can disrupt major criminal organisations and continue to keep our citizens safe.”
The Royal Navy say that this week’s success began when the frigate’s Wildcat helicopter – capable of tracking more than 200 vessels simultaneously – came across a dhow moving through waters known to be used by traffickers.
“As the sun rose over the Arabian Sea, several packages could be seen floating in the water near the dhow,” said Lieutenant Commander Charli Martin, Montrose’s Weapon Engineer Officer in the news release.
“The packages were recovered and determined to be hashish. Royal Marine Commandos then boarded the dhow, securing it for search by a Royal Navy boarding team.”