HMS Lancaster seized nearly £33m of illegal drugs as she struck twice against traffickers in the Middle East within 24 hours.

In the wake of HMS Trent’s blow to Caribbean traffickers by seizing £17m of illegal narcotics, their colleagues pounced half a world away in the Indian Ocean. according to a Royal Navy news release.

Heroin, hashish and crystal meth were found by Lancaster’s sailors and Royal Marines – nearly four tonnes of illicit narcotics which have now been destroyed.

Operating under the banner of the Canadian-led Combined Task Force 150 – dedicated to stopping criminal activity across more than two million square miles of ocean in the Middle East – the frigate intercepted two suspect vessels.

“HMS Lancaster was on the very first day of her security patrol following a period of operational sea training and assurance when her Wildcat helicopter spotted a suspect vessel during a routine sortie.

That was the beginning of an eight-hour operation which saw Royal Marines from 42 Commando secure the vessel, to allow Lancaster’s Royal Navy boarding team to look for any illicit cargo. An in-depth search of the dhow recovered nearly 100 packages – each containing smaller parcels, found to contain hashish, heroin and crystal meth upon subsequent testing aboard HMS Lancaster.

The crew were still celebrating their success when the Wildcat helicopter – from 815 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset – launched on a dusk patrol for another sweep of the Indian Ocean. Once again aircrew came across a suspicious dhow. Lancaster tracked the vessel through the night, then struck at dawn. And once again the Commandos boarded and secured the dhow before sailors joined them to conduct a comprehensive search.”

This time, over six hours, they recovered 2.4 tonnes of hashish – bringing the two-day haul to 3.7 tonnes of illegal drugs, you can read more on this here.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Coll (@guest_810714)
1 month ago

Is Norway buying Type 26?

Expat (@guest_810716)
1 month ago

Yeah I thought this article would go off topic as soon as T26 news broke.

MoD could order another T31 but still insist they get all 8 t26. Whilst not like for like it closes the gap. Plus side fir UK plc is we get a great export order.

SailorBoy (@guest_810717)
1 month ago

Anyone know what the two fast patrol craft tagging along behind are?

Caspian237 (@guest_810731)
1 month ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

I believe they are USS Monsoon and USS Chinook. This image is being reused from a previous article so probably their presence isn’t significant to the particular story.

Last edited 1 month ago by Caspian237
SailorBoy (@guest_811313)
1 month ago
Reply to  Caspian237

Seems that those ships have been retired now so definitely an old photo