Date: Tuesday March 19, 2019 at 3:13pm
The Portsmouth-based Type 45 destroyer seized 2,540kg of hash from a fishing vessel while the warship was on her way through the Arabian Sea.
It comes after Dragon took the record for the highest number of successful busts and the total weight of drugs seized by a Royal Navy ship in the Middle East.Flying a routine dawn mission, the crew of the ship’s Wildcat helicopter spotted a suspicious-looking boat from the air.HMS Dragon, who was beginning her journey back to the UK, immediately altered course to intercept the vessel.
After a thorough search the ship’s boarding team found bags of hash hidden beneath fishing nets and the boat’s fuel tanks.
Since deploying to the Middle East in September last year, HMS Dragon has now racked up a record haul of drugs from criminals they have hunted down across the open seas – 17,786kg of hash, 455kg of heroin, and 9kg of crystal meth – totalling more than £145m.
As dawn broke, HMS Dragon emerged from the darkness to swoop on the fishing dhow and launch her two fast sea boats packed with sailors and Royal Marines from Plymouth’s 42 Commando. Having quickly secured the vessel, the boarding teams found the first haul of illegal drugs underneath the boat’s fishing nets. The crew continued the search to include some of the boat’s more difficult-to-reach areas.
It fell to the smallest member of HMS Dragon’s boarding team, Engineering Technician Thomas Jones Leah, to crawl into the space beneath the boat’s fuel tanks to conduct the search. He fought through slime and dirt in the confined space to remove false hatches which concealed the bagged narcotics.
Information sourced from Royal navy.