British Navy seizes Dh15.7m worth of crystal meth in Arabian Sea

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - On a suspicious ship, naval sailors discovered 11 bags of the drug, totalling 131kg

Dec 24, 2019

December 24, 2019

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Britain’s Royal Navy said on Monday that it had seized 11 “mail-sized” sacks of crystal meth in the Arabian Sea, worth an estimated £3.3 million (Dh 15.7 million).

The crew aboard the HMS Defender had spotted a “suspicious” vessel when patrolling the area for smugglers and traffickers.

On the suspicious ship, the Navy discovered the bags of crystal methamphetamines - some weighing up to 15-20 kilograms. The total haul was 131kg.

The Navy had earlier located the solo dhow, which wasn’t flying any flag or showing any evidence that it was carrying out any fishing, using its military helicopter.

That prompted the Navy to track down the vessel and investigate, sending Royal Marines across in sea boats to secure the dhow and its crew. The Royal Navy sailors then searched the vessel and found the illicit drugs.

Armed Forces minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “Thanks to HMS Defender and her crew, these drugs will be kept off the streets and the criminal gangs behind this poisonous trade will have suffered financially.

“It is a clear reminder at this time of year that our Armed Forces are working tirelessly to keep us safe.”

The navy destroyer’s commanding officer, commander Richard Hewitt, added: “I am really proud that HMS Defender has been able to interdict such a significant quantity of drugs and prevent it reaching the UK streets.

The HMS Defender was deployed to the Middle East in August, to help safeguard shipping routes in the Strait of Hormuz.

Several ships have been attacked and seized on the vital shipping strait this year, with GCC states and Western allies saying Iran was behind the attacks. Tehran has denied the accusations.

Updated: December 24, 2019 02:44 AM

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