Royal Navy warship HMS Dragon busts drug smugglers in swoop with Marine commandos

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Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon seized more than 2,000kg worth of has in her sixth drugs bust in three months. 

Royal Navy sailors and marines managed to seize 101 bags of hashish while on patrol in the Indian Ocean.

The sale of the drugs is known as a key sources of funding for terrorists and criminal gangs.

HMS Dragon and her crew swooped on the fishing vessel – known as a dhow – was spotted by her Wildcat helicopter.

Two fast sea boats were launched from Dragon carrying Royal Marines as they moved in on the smugglers.

“After HMS Dragon tracked the dhow overnight, the boarding teams worked hard to search for the narcotics ”

Lieutenant Jonathan Bennet

Marines from Plymouth-based 42 Commando questioned the crew of dhow and the commandos and Royal Navy crew searched the ship.

On board, they discovered the 2,000kg worth of hash – which is believed to have a street value of around £6million.

The drugs were seized and taken back to HMS Dragon where they were destroyed by the crew.

HMS Dragon has been supporting counter narcotics operations in the region during her deployment in the Middle East with Combined Task Force 150. 

HMS Dragon

DESTROYER: HMS Dragon is one of key Royal Navy’s top warships (Pic: GETTY)

Lieutenant Jonathan Bennett, the officer in charge of the Royal Navy boarding team, said: “After HMS Dragon tracked the dhow overnight, the boarding teams worked hard to search for the narcotics and were able to seize 101 bags of hashish.

“The efforts of the boarding team in difficult conditions allowed the process to be quick and efficient, and we’re thrilled HMS Dragon scored her sixth drugs bust of the deployment.”

HMS Dragon’s latest bust comes after £9 million worth of heroin was picked up last month.

And last year the Type 45 bagged a half-tonne haul of heroin and hashish, along with 9kg of crystal meth.

Royal Marines swoop

SWOOP: Royal Marines move in on the dhow which was found to have £6million worth of drugs (Pic: ROYAL NAVY)

Royal Marines

COMMANDOS: Royal Marines move in on their fast boat to seize the drugs (Pic: ROYAL NAVY)

Dragon is one Britain’s six Type 45 destroyers alongside Duncan, Daring, Dauntless, Defender and Diamond. 

The 9,400 tonne, 500ft destroyers are regarded as some of the most advanced warships in the world.

Costing over £1billion per ship, the vessels are bristling with missiles, a mighty 4.5-inch naval gun, a cohort of marines and can carry two helicopters. 

It has been hailed as the world’s best air defence ship, and is the backbone of the Royal Navy. 

HMS Dragon crew

JOB WELL DONE: HMS Dragon seizes 101 bags on hashish from the dhow (Pic: ROYAL NAVY)

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “The outstanding work of HMS Dragon’s crew continues to be a credit to Britain and its Armed Forces.

“These significant seizures stop cash flow to terrorists, hurt criminal gangs who fund them and hinder the supply of harmful drugs to streets around the world, including Britain.”

Combined Task Force 150 is a multinational group which works to disrupt piracy, drug smuggling and terrorism in the Gulf.

Elsewhere, the Royal Navy were scrambled in Gibraltar after a Spanish warship spent two hours in a stand-off near the Rock.

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