Royal Navy scores second drugs bust in fortnight
A Royal Navy ship seized 320kg of cannabis worth £1 million just days after docking in Gibraltar.
This is the second Mediterranean drugs bust by the Royal Navy within a fortnight after a further £3million of the class B drug was previously recovered.
HMS St Albans, which called here last weekend, stopped the drug smugglers during a routine security patrol and seized around £1million worth of cannabis.
She had left Portsmouth on a nine month deployment less than a fortnight ago.
“After just two weeks on operations HMS St Albans is already having a tangible effect in ensuring the security of the UK by keeping these illicit drugs off our streets,” said Armed Forces Minister Penny Mordaunt.
This is the second time the Royal Navy had recovered drugs within the past two weeks. HMS Richmond had previously recovered 1,015kg of cannabis worth around £3million.
On patrol HMS St Albans spotted a small boat acting suspiciously and launched her Merlin helicopter.
“This spooked the small boat crew who then tossed several large packages into the water before speeding off into the dusk,” a Royal Navy statement detailed.
A sea boat was then sent to investigate the packages and the drugs were found.
On the recent drug seizures St Albans’ Second in Command, Lieutenant Commander Jeff Gulliver said the Mediterranean is a “well known smuggling route for drugs into Europe and the UK” and added the team had trained “long and hard” ahead of the deployment.
In charge of the Merlin Flight was Lieutenant Commander Lauren Hulston who commended her team and hopes to continue this work through their nine deployment.