News story

UK warship seizes £10 million cocaine haul

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

A Royal Navy warship has seized cocaine with a wholesale value of £10 million from a yacht in the Caribbean.

Just 24 hours after helping in the aftermath of Hurricane Gonzalo in Bermuda, the Type 23 frigate HMS Argyll’s Lynx helicopter spotted the yacht in the Atlantic.

A search by the US Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment, working from HMS Argyll, uncovered 10 bales of cocaine which was confiscated before the 2 crew members were taken into custody.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

This is yet another clear demonstration of the flexibility and versatility of the Royal Navy. HMS Argyll and her crew are playing a key role in disrupting the drugs trade which blights the UK.

The British people should be proud of the work that they undertake on our behalf.

HMS Argyll's boarding team approaches the vessel suspected of carrying drugs
HMS Argyll's boarding team approaches the vessel suspected of carrying drugs [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Stephen Johncock, Crown copyright]

This is HMS Argyll’s second bust in 2 months having seized £21 million of cocaine in August.

The ship is operating as part of a 15-nation collaboration to stop criminal organisations getting access to regions of Central America, with a focus on the illegal movement of drugs from South America to the western world.

Able Seaman Specialist Alex Hartley said:

Life on board is hectic at the moment, I was involved in working ashore to help the locals in Bermuda after Hurricane Gonzalo and the next day I drove one of our boats out to intercept a yacht with drugs on it.

This is just typical of our deployment to be honest, life is challenging but rewarding onboard HMS Argyll right now.