LONDON: A British Royal Navy vessel from a Saudi-led coalition has seized hundreds of kilos of drugs in its latest counter-narcotics operation.
The frigate, which is part of the Saudi-led Combined Task Force 150, a partnership of 38 nations involved in maritime security deployments throughout the region, intercepted smugglers transporting crystal methamphetamine in its fifth operational success of the year.
The Royal Navy said the six-hour operation was a huge blow to criminal gangs and terror groups that use narcotics to fund their organizations and violent plans.
“Disrupting terrorist organizations, criminals and their funding lines is key to keeping the UK, and rest of the world, safe,” said Commander Claire Thompson, the ship’s commanding officer.
A reconnaissance helicopter from HMS Montrose was sent to inspect the suspected vessel before specialist troops from the Royal Marines, Britain’s amphibious infantry, boarded and took control of the boat in what the navy described as “choppy conditions.”
Once on board, the marines found a hidden compartment where 870 kg of crystal methamphetamines had been stashed.
Britain’s National Crime Agency said the drugs were valued at £15.5 million ($17.1 million).