Royal Navy: Nearly £17m worth of drugs seized in Caribbean

Royal Navy: Nearly £17m worth of drugs seized in Caribbean
Royal Navy: Nearly £17m worth of drugs seized in Caribbean

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - LONDON — British sailors, Royal Marines and a US Coast Guard team on HMS Trent intercepted a smuggling speedboat

The Royal Navy has seized nearly £17m worth of drugs after it intercepted smuggling speedboats in the Caribbean Sea.

Across two operations, HMS Trent seized 200kg of cocaine and other drugs with an estimated street value of £16.7 million.

Defense Secretary Grant Shapps praised the Navy’s work.

He said it showed the Navy’s commitment to “disrupt and dismantle” drug traffickers.

British sailors, Royal Marines and a US Coast Guard team on HMS Trent intercepted a smuggling speedboat immediately following a port visit to the island of Martinique, according to the Ministry of Defense (MoD).

It added the HMS Trent warship launched fast sea boats, piloted by Royal Marines of 47 Commando, to intercept the speedboat, seize the drugs and detain the crew before darkness fell.

Less than 48 hours later, HMS Trent worked with a US Coast Guard patrol aircraft to track and intercept another speedboat, the MoD said.

HMS Trent has seized drugs worth £307m since it began operating in the Caribbean at the end of 2023.

In February, £221m worth of cocaine and other drugs was seized, in addition to £70m in January.

Commanding Officer Tim Langford said: “The flexibility shown by my ship’s company to move straight from high-level defense engagement activity in Martinique straight into successful boarding operations is a testament to their dedication and professionalism.

“The level of cooperation between the Royal Navy, US Coast Guard and other partners has been excellent, and has been key to making these seizures possible.”

HMS Trent left its home port of Gibraltar in early December for Guyana in a show of diplomatic and military support for the former British colony.

It came at a time when neighboring Venezuela renewed its claim for a disputed part of Guyanese territory that is rich in oil and minerals.

HMS Trent is mainly used for tackling piracy and smuggling, protecting fisheries, counterterrorism, providing humanitarian aid, and search and rescue operations, but the Royal Navy says it is also designed for border patrols and defense diplomacy. — BBC


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