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08 Apr 2024

Royal Navy seizes '16.7m of drugs in Caribbean operation

Royal Navy seizes '16.7m of drugs in Caribbean operation
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Royal Navy Press Release
Royal Navy warship HMS Trent seized drugs with a street value of £16.7 million in two separate blows to drug runners in the Caribbean.

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.

The warship launched her 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 was back in action, working with a US Coast Guard patrol aircraft to track and intercept another speedboat.

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

Commanding Officer, Commander Tim Langford, said: “The flexibility shown by my ship’s company to move straight from high-level defence 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.”

The latest operations mean HMS Trent has now seized drugs worth £307m since she began operating in Caribbean at the end of 2023. In February, she seized £220.56m of cocaine and other drugs, having seized £70.1m of cocaine in January.

HMS Trent remains on patrol in the Caribbean, ready to conduct further operations.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said: “These interceptions demonstrate the Royal Navy’s commitment to disrupt and dismantle the operations of drug traffickers across the world.

“I congratulate the ship’s company for their invaluable efforts to keep illegal drugs off our streets.”

These successful interceptions not only disrupt criminal networks in the UK but also underscore the Royal Navy’s vital role in maintaining maritime security and upholding international law in the region.

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