Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon has seized over 2,000 kg of hashish in her sixth drugs bust in three months.
The Portsmouth-based warship seized the hashish just days after seizing 49 kilos of heroin.
The suspect vessel was spotted by the warship’s Wildcat helicopter during a night-time sortie. After closing in on the dhow and taking a closer look, HMS Dragon decided to investigate further.
Launching her two fast sea boats, each one carrying a boarding team of sailors from HMS Dragon’s crew and Royal Marines from Plymouth-based 42 Commando, they swooped on the dhow – a type of fishing vessel common in the Middle East.
Questioning the master and his crew, suspicions were raised that the dhow was not likely to be conducting legal activities and the search began.
Lieutenant Jonathan Bennett, the officer in charge of the Royal Navy boarding team, said: “After HMS Dragon tracked the dhow overnight, the boarding teams worked hard to search for the narcotics and were able to seize 101 bags of hashish.
“The efforts of the boarding team in difficult conditions allowed the process to be quick and efficient, and we’re thrilled HMS Dragon scored her sixth drugs bust of the deployment.”
After documenting their haul, the ship destroyed the narcotics before returning to patrols. The ship is currently operating in support of Combined Task Force 150 – a multinational group which works to disrupt piracy, drug smuggling and terrorism in the Gulf.