British Queen celebrates


In a significant operation against drug traffickers, the Royal Navy's warship HMS Lancaster has intercepted narcotics with an estimated value of nearly £33 million in the Middle East, marking

two successful strikes against traffickers within a span of 24 hours.

Following closely on the heels of HMS Trent's recent seizure of £17 million worth of illicit substances in the Caribbean, HMS Lancaster's crew executed their operation thousands of miles away in the Indian Ocean.

Heroin, hashish, and crystal meth were among the illicit substances discovered by Lancaster's sailors and Royal Marines, with over two tonnes of drugs now rendered inert.

Defense Secretary Grant Shapps praised the achievement, stating, "The remarkable success of HMS Lancaster's crew and Royal Marine commandos in the Indian Ocean underscores the crucial role our Navy plays in enforcing maritime security. Their unwavering dedication and professionalism have delivered another significant blow to criminal networks."

Building on the recent triumph of HMS Trent, which intercepted a substantial quantity of drugs on a different continent, the Royal Navy remains at the forefront of the UK's efforts to disrupt drug smuggling operations worldwide.

Participating in the Canadian-led Combined Task Force 150, tasked with combatting criminal activities across vast expanses of ocean in the Middle East, HMS Lancaster wasted no time in making its presence felt. During its initial security patrol following a period of training, the ship's Wildcat helicopter spotted a suspicious vessel, leading to an extensive eight-hour operation.

Royal Marines from 42 Commando secured the vessel, enabling Lancaster's personnel to board and conduct a thorough search, resulting in the discovery of nearly 100 packages containing heroin and crystal meth.

Following this success, Lancaster's Wildcat helicopter launched another patrol at dusk, spotting yet another suspicious vessel. After tracking the vessel overnight, commandos boarded it at dawn, securing the dhow for a second search operation.

Over the course of six hours, Lancaster's team uncovered an additional 2.4 tonnes of hashish, bringing the total haul to 3.7 tonnes of illegal drugs seized.

The combined value of the intercepted narcotics, assessed by the National Crime Agency, amounted to just under £33 million.

Commanding Officer Commander Chris Sharp expressed pride in his team's swift and efficient execution of the interdictions, emphasizing the necessity of teamwork in such complex operations. He also acknowledged the crucial support provided by partners in CTF 150 throughout the operation. Photo: L(Phot) Will Haigh/MOD, Wikimedia commons.