Posted on December 12, 2018
The Type 45 destroyer was on patrol between the Makran Coast by Iran, Pakistan and East Africa. The area is known as the “smack track” and the ship stopped to inspect a dhow that was suspiciously far away from normal shipping lanes. Onboard was half a tonne of heroin and hashish, as well as 9kg of crystal meth. Locally the haul would have been worth $2 million (£1.6 million) and would have had a far higher street value had it reached Britain. Any money from the sale would likely have been ploughed into the funding of terrorism and criminal networks in the region. The drugs were later taken back to HMS Dragon where they were destroyed. Lieutenant Jonathan Bennett, who first spotted the dhow, said: “The dhow looked suspicious so we sent the boarding teams in the sea boats to talk to the crew. Their answers raised our suspicions further, and so we commenced the boarding. Following a search by our trained teams we were able to locate and recover these narcotics, stopping their onward likely travel into Europe and the United Kingdom, as well as disrupting the funding of illicit activity.” Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Once again, HMS Dragon has demonstrated the strength, capability and global reach of our Royal Navy. I am incredibly proud of her crew as they confirm the UK’s crucial role in tackling the illegal and destructive global drugs trade.” It is the second major haul of drugs by the ship in a fortnight; the Type 45 destroyer recently confiscated three tonnes of hashish while patrolling the so-called ‘Hash Highway’ in the Middle East.