Warship Boarding Team's 23-hour Drug Search

By George Backwell
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Boarding party alongside: Photo MOD

Nearly 60 kilograms of heroin were seized by sailors and Royal Marines from 'HMS Somerset', who intercepted a drug-smuggling dhow in Middle East waters, informs UK MOD.

The boarding crew found the dhow, a type of vessel common to the Middle East and Indian Ocean, during an operation for the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) counter-terrorism Combined Task Force (CTF) 150.

HMS Somerset’s Lynx helicopter was launched to intercept the dhow and guide the boarding team to its exact location.

Once on board, the Royal Navy team worked tirelessly for 23 hours to find the contraband’s hiding place, stashed under a false deck.

The drugs were then brought on board HMS Somerset, where they were tested for purity before being destroyed.

Royal Navy Commodore Jeremy Blunden, commander of CFT 150, said:
"I am delighted that HMS Somerset has made this interception and I offer my congratulations to Commander Smith and his team for finding this well hidden contraband in difficult conditions."

"This is the ninth seizure of heroin that CTF 150 has made this year as part of a determined effort to combat both the flow of heroin across the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean to east Africa, and funding to terrorist organisations. The destruction of the drugs will reduce key funding lines for known terror groups."
 

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