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HMS Montrose Captures $2.2 Million in Heroin

heroin bust hms montrose
Boat crew from HMS Montrose approaches the suspect dhow (Royal Navy)

Published May 13, 2022 12:58 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Royal Navy delivered its fourth blow to drug traffickers in the Middle East in as many months as HMS Montrose seized $2.2. million worth of heroin. 

The frigate pounced on a dhow while conducting a sweep of the Gulf of Oman. After a team of Royal Marines secured the suspect vessel, sailors scoured the craft from bow to stern in a nine-hour operation. They discovered numerous sacks hidden aboard – sacks which tests showed contained heroin. The seizure came to 90 kilos, worth $2.2 million on the streets of the UK.

It brings Montrose’s haul since mid-January to nearly $120 million of illegal narcotics, including heroin, cannabis and methamphetamines. And it means more than 18 tonnes of drugs have been kept off the streets of the UK – or other countries – since she began operating in the Middle East in January 2019.

Courtesy Royal Navy

“The world-leading Royal Navy is demonstrating its value, in this case denying criminals a source of income and keeping drugs off our streets,” said James Heappey, Minister for the Armed Forces. “Our sailors are operating side by side with allies and friends, upholding the international rules-based system and promoting global security.”

Montrose was working with the Pakistani-led Combined Task Force 150 – one of four naval groups spread across more than three million square of ocean from the Red Sea to the western seaboard of the Indian sub-continent. The task force is dedicated to keeping sea lanes open and strangling illegal activity on the high seas. They operate under the banner of the Bahrain-based Combined Maritime Forces, a coalition of more than 30 nations committed to the safety and security in the Middle East.

“I am very proud of my ship’s company for their efforts in disrupting the global drugs trade and preventing this illicit activity at sea,” said Montrose’s Commanding Officer Commander Paul Irving. “It requires my whole team to work together in this type of operation, and once again they have delivered.”

This article appears courtesy of Royal Navy News.

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.