UK Warship Seizes 600 Kilo Cocaine Haul

UK Warship Seizes USD 35m Cocaine Haul

A UK Royal Navy’s warship HMS Argyll has seized nearly 600 kilos of cocaine with a street value of nearly USD 35 million after a 12-hour pursuit across the Caribbean.


After receiving information that a suspicious-looking vessel had been spotted by a maritime patrol aircraft, HMS Argyll, which is on counter-narcotics operations in the region, deployed to intercept it.

UK Warship Seizes USD 35m Cocaine Haul
HMS Argyll circles the vessel of interest

Argyll’s Lynx helicopter confirmed the vessel was acting in a way typical of being operated by drug smugglers, and her sea boats were sent across to capture the crew and contraband.

UK Warship Seizes USD 35m Cocaine Haul
HMS Argyll sends her sea boats across to capture the crew and contraband

Once onboard the small power boat, known as a go-fast, the US Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) and Royal Navy sailors discovered bales of cocaine wrapped in bin bags.

UK Warship Seizes USD 35m Cocaine Haul
The 18 bags of seized narcotics

HMS Argyll’s commanding officer, Commander Paul Hammond, said:

”My team and I knew that a swift and correct interception was required in this case. We worked well with our international partners to give ourselves the best chance of success and I used the exceptional capabilities of a modern warship, including sea boats and the Lynx helicopter, to detain the crew and seize the drugs from the target vessel.”

This work is part of Operation Martillo, a 15-nation collaborative effort to deny transnational criminal organisations air and maritime access to the coastal regions of Central America with the goal of putting a stop to the illegal movement of drugs from South America to the western world.

The 18 bags of seized narcotics were transferred to a US Coastguard vessel for transfer to the United States.

Press Release, August 27, 2014



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