TEHRAN, August 21 - £400m drugs haul has been seized by a Royal Navy task force pursuing smugglers in the Gulf and Indian Ocean.
TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Eight raids were carried out over a five-month period, with sailors seizing more than 1.75 tonnes of narcotics, along with 265kg of heroin and 455kg of hashish--a drug made from cannabis-- with a street value of around £65m.
The operation was carried out onboard HMS Monmouth, a Type 23 frigate, which was joined by France as part of a multinational navy task force, policing some three million square miles.
Their efforts form part of an international crackdown on drug trafficking, including support from US and Australian warships, and which the Ministry of Defence hopes will limit the financing of terrorism in the region.
Commenting on the seizures, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: "The success of this joint task force with our French allies is a demonstration of Britain's firm commitment to global maritime security and our ability to work with European allies to tackle the threat from drug smuggling.
"The money made from these nefarious criminal activities fund the terrorists who threaten us at home and abroad. As we leave the EU we will continue to work alongside our allies to tackle smuggling in the region and maintain the free flow of shipping."
Royal Navy Captain Paul Pitcher, deputy commander of the Combined Task Force added: "The deployment of a combined French-UK staff has successfully demonstrated French-UK naval integration in an operational maritime environment.
"The ships under our command have enjoyed considerable success in seizing illegal drugs at sea, as well as providing naval presence to reassure the shipping community in and around the strategic choke-point of the Bab Al Mandeb Strait."
Source: The Telegraph