UK Royal Fleet Auxiliary support ship 'Wave Knight' has helped seize an estimated £6.5 million worth of drugs from traffickers in the Caribbean.
In a multi-agency operation involving UK and US assets, the fishing vessel Miss Tiffany was detected and one of Wave Knight ’s boats was launched to investigate. Soon after arrival, and upon hailing the vessel, the fishing boat's crew were seen jettisoning a number of suspect packages overboard.
With multiple bales now being jettisoned by the crew and an urgent need to stop the fishing vessel, the decision was taken to immediately launch a second boat from Wave Knight to help recover the weighted bales before they sank. A total of 55 bales were eventually recovered from the sea.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:
"The work of the Royal Navy across the globe, and in particular in the Caribbean, on counter-narcotics operations is vital to protecting us here at home. This drugs bust follows recent successful interdiction and deterrence operations by HMS Lancaster and HMS Argyll in the Caribbean which all contribute to ensuring illegal drugs do not reach our streets. I congratulate the ship’s company for their actions in this operation. Subsequent onboard analysis strongly suggested these bales contained marijuana – a haul of some 1,300 kilograms with an estimated street value of around £6.4 million. The boarding operations, preservation of evidence and detention of seven crew members will hopefully lead to a successful prosecution in court."
A custody crew was subsequently embarked on the Miss Tiffany which enabled the fishing vessel to be delivered to Jamaican authorities.