HMS Montrose seizes drugs in Gulf of Oman

HMS Montrose carrying out duties, protecting British shipping in the Gulf

A Royal Navy warship has bagged more than a tonne of cannabis on the infamous “Hash Highway” in the waters of the Middle East.

A team of sailors and Royal Marines Commandos from the Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose recovered bales of hashish from the waters of the Gulf of Oman then found a secret narcotics cache hidden aboard a dhow during a two-day operation which resulted in a haul with an estimated UK street value of more than £6 million (US$7.77 million).

The seizure is the second haul of hashish seized by the Royal Navy in three weeks. The destroyer HMS Defender had earlier captured two and a half tonnes of the drug.

It is also the second seizure for Montrose, which had earlier intercepted a cargo of crystal meth and heroin worth around £1 million (US$1.3 million) in October 2019.

Montrose‘s latest success began when its embarked Wildcat helicopter came across a dhow moving through waters known to be used by drug traffickers. By sunrise the next day, the frigate had arrived close to the dhow’s location.

An officer on Montrose had reported seeing several packages floating in the water near the dhow. The packages were recovered and determined to contain hashish.

Royal Marine Commandos then boarded the dhow, securing it for search by a Royal Navy boarding team.

The master of the dhow admitted that the packages in the water came from his vessel, and after a thorough search of the dhow, the team found another cache of hashish.

Combined with the drugs recovered from the sea, Montrose‘s total seizure of hashish was 1,045 kilograms.

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