Royal Navy patrol ship scores £204 million drug bust in Caribbean Sea

Photo: Royal Navy
Photo: Royal Navy

The Royal Navy offshore patrol vessel HMS Trent has seized cocaine shipments worth £204 million (US$254 million) during a recent nighttime interception in the Caribbean Sea, the navy confirmed late last week.

The ship has seized £511 million (US$638 million) worth of narcotics across five operations in the Caribbean since deploying to the region in December last year.

Trent was alerted to potential smugglers by a US maritime patrol aircraft. The crew then used the ship's radars to track down a go-fast boat matching the reported course and speed.

A composite force of sailors, Royal Marines, and personnel from the US Coast Guard's Tactical Law Enforcement Team was preparing to board the suspect vessel when the latter suddenly turned and fled. However, the vessel had become heavily weighed down by its cargo of narcotics.

To evade capture, the crew of the go-fast boat began jettisoning bale after bale of cocaine.

Although the go-fast boat escaped, the boarding team were able to secure the bales containing 2,548 kg of cocaine and brought these back to Trent.

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Baird Maritime / Work Boat World