Royal Navy vessel seizes a metric tonne of pure hashish in Indian Ocean

Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender on June 7 seized over a metric tonne of high grade hashish being trafficked across the Indian Ocean.

Operating with the Royal Navy-led Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, Defender intercepted a suspect fishing dhow off the south coast of Oman.

A search of the vessel found 51 bales, each weighing 20kg, bringing the haul to a total of 1020kg.

This seizure marks the latest in a series of interceptions for CTF 150 as HMAS Darwin and French Ship Nivose seized over a metric tonne of heroin at the end of May.

The latest seizure, though co-ordinated by the UK-led team in Bahrain and carried out by HMS Defender, was supported by a United States P-8 Poseidon, a maritime patrol reconnaissance aircraft (MPRA).

Commodore Guy Robinson OBE RN, the Commander of CTF 150 said: “While my mission is much broader than just counter-narcotics, I am delighted that we have dealt another blow to those that seek to use the sea for their illicit activity, so soon after the seizure of over a tonne of heroin by CTF 150 ships. The real strength in CMF is the international cooperation at sea and in the air, demonstrated fully in this seizure.

HMS Defender’s action comes days after industry officials responsible for the construction of Type 45 destroyers revealed that warm waters were the cause of the ship’s engine failures. This time, warmer waters did not prevent the £1 billion ship from performing up to expectations.