Royal Navy Destroyer Halts Fugitive Dhow, Seizes Drugs in Indian Ocean

Courtesy Royal Navy

Published Jun 2, 2024 6:45 PM by The Maritime Executive

Last month, a Royal Navy destroyer tracked down and boarded a dhow in the Indian Ocean, seizing 2.4 tonnes of hashish from concealed compartments on board. 

Working with the multinational task force CTF 150, HMS Diamond found a suspect dhow and gave pursuit. The stateless vessel did not initially obey commands to halt for an inspection, but when Diamond's helicopter aircrew and boatcrews arrived and trained their weapons on the wooden-hulled ship, the dhow's crew consented to a boarding. 

A maritime security team of Royal Marines swept through the vessel to secure it, and were followed by Royal Navy specialists who conducted a thorough search. In a nine-hour operation in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees F, they found hundreds of packages of hashish totaling 2,382 kilos. The narcotics - valued at $19 million - were confiscated and destroyed. 



Courtesy Royal Navy


"This interdiction conducted by HMS Diamond is a great example of the effective collaboration between CMF partners and the CTF 150 team," said Captain Colin Matthews (RCN), the current commander of CTF 150. 

It was the latest in a series of successful busts for the Royal Navy and the Combined Maritime Forces. In April, frigate HMS Lancaster had two successful intercepts in the span of 24 hours, and seized a total of $42 million worth of narcotics. Over the course of that month, a CMF sting called "Focused Operation Crimson Barracuda" totaled five tonnes, with seizures contributed by the U.S. Navy and - in its first interdiction under the CTF banner - the Indian Navy. On April 13, a team of Indian commandos from INS Talwar searched a dow and seized nearly one tonne of drugs, including 450 kilos of methamphetamines, 400 kilos of hashish and 70 kilos of heroin.