UK Royal Navy seizes almost £15m worth of drugs from small ship in Gulf of Oman

UK Royal Navy seizes almost £15m worth of drugs from small ship in Gulf of Oman
2 min read
24 January, 2022
The UK Royal Navy boarded a small vessel off the coast of Oman and seized large amounts of heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana.
UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace called the discovery and confiscation of the drugs a 'successful bust' [source: Getty]

Almost £15 million ($17.8 million US dollars) worth of drugs, weighing over 1 tonne, were seized by the British Navy in the Gulf of Oman, the UK ministry of defence said on Sunday. 

A British navy team from warship HMS Montrose boarded the "suspect" vessel in international waters as part of an operation lasting almost 10 hours. 

The military personnel discovered 663kg of heroin, 87 kg of methamphetamine, and 291 kg of hashish and marijuana onboard, which they confiscated for analysis and then destroyed. 

"The Royal Navy continue to step forward with our partners in the Combined Maritime Forces to stamp out the smuggling of illegal substances," said UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.  

The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) is a multinational maritime partnership aiming to counter "illicit non-state actors", according to the MoD. 

Wallace speculated that the drugs could have been bound for the UK, adding "our streets [are] safer" thanks to "this successful bust". 

No details were given about the origins of the boat or the drugs. 

This is the largest UK Royal Navy drugs bust-up since the HMS Montrose seized 2.4 tonnes of drugs in the Arab sea last year. 

The US navy also said on Sunday it seized a boat in the Gulf of Oman carrying 40 tonnes of fertiliser used to make explosives.  

The strategic location of the Middle East combined with high levels of corruption and poverty have fuelled a growing drugs trade from countries such as Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq to nations in Europe and North America.