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Royal Navy Seizes 450 Kilos of Meth in Persian Gulf Drug Bust

drug bust
Image courtesy Royal Navy

By The Maritime Executive 10-21-2020 01:37:32

Sailors and Royal Marines from the Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose recently intercepted over 450 kilos of methamphetamine during a boarding operation in the Persian Gulf. 

In rough seas, sailors and Royal Marines conducted the boarding of the suspicious vessel, and during an extensive search they discovered the 450 kilo haul hidden in the boat’s cargo. The drugs have an estimated wholesale value of $24 million.
 
The task of intercepting and boarding suspicious vessels at sea is more challenging today due to the threat of COVID-19. The ship’s medical team decontaminated all personnel and equipment used in the boarding, and specialized PPE was used throughout the process. 
 
“Every sailor and marine, airman and woman, alongside our international partners, should be proud to have contributed to the success of this operation which has undoubtedly kept millions of [dollars] of drugs off our streets," said the commanding officer of HMS Montrose, Commander Charles Collins.

Images courtesy Royal Navy
 
The bust was the Royal Navy's most successful counter-methamphetamine operation ever in the Middle East, according to UK Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey. “Organized crime funds terrorism and by preventing these drugs reaching the open market HMS Montrose has directly interrupted illegal activity that causes considerable harm across the globe," he said in a statement. 
 
The operation was part of the Combined Maritime Forces’ (CMF) Operation Sea Shield. CMF is a longstanding multinational maritime partnership to counter illicit non-state actors in the Middle East, and its participating vessels patrol some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. Its main focus is on counter-narcotics, counter-smuggling and counter-piracy. The organization has 33 member nations, and it is headquartered at the U.S. 5th Fleet base in Bahrain.