Royal Navy

Royal Navy’s HMS Trent seizes nearly £17M of drugs in the Caribbean Sea

Royal Navy Batch 2 River-class offshore patrol vessel HMS Trent has seized drugs with a street value of £16.7 million (about $21.2 million) in two separate blows to drug runners in the Caribbean.

British sailors, Royal Marines and a US Coast Guard team on HMS Trent intercepted a smuggling speedboat immediately following a port visit to the island of Martinique.

The warship, which was commissioned in 2020, launched her fast sea boats, piloted by Royal Marines of 47 Commando, to intercept the speedboat, seize the drugs and detain the crew before darkness fell.

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Less than 48 hours later, HMS Trent was back in action, working with a US Coast Guard patrol aircraft to track and intercept another speedboat.

Across the two operations, HMS Trent seized 200kg of cocaine and other drugs, with an estimated street value of £16.7 million.

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“These interceptions demonstrate the Royal Navy’s commitment to disrupt and dismantle the operations of drug traffickers across the world. I congratulate the ship’s company for their invaluable efforts to keep illegal drugs off our streets,” Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said.

The latest operations mean HMS Trent has now seized drugs worth £307 million since she began operating in the Caribbean at the end of 2023. In February, she seized £220.56 million of cocaine and other drugs, having seized £70.1 million of cocaine in January.

HMS Trent remains on patrol in the Caribbean, ready to conduct further operations.

“The flexibility shown by my ship’s company to move straight from high-level defence engagement activity in Martinique straight into successful boarding operations is a testament to their dedication and professionalism. The level of cooperation between the Royal Navy, US Coast Guard and other partners has been excellent, and has been key to making these seizures possible. These successful interceptions not only disrupt criminal networks in the UK but also underscore the Royal Navy’s vital role in maintaining maritime security and upholding international law in the region,” Commanding Officer, Commander Tim Langford, concluded.