Royal Navy seizes £60m worth of heroin in Indian Ocean bust

An Australian warship under Royal Navy command found 449kg of the drug

The Royal Navy has seized £60 million worth of heroin from a vessel in the Indian Ocean.

Just weeks after £140 million worth of the drug was seized in the largest ever heroin bust at sea, a joint operation between the Royal Navy and the Australian Navy uncovered a further haul weighing 449kg.

Australian warship HMAS Darwin ambushed a dhow in the Indian Ocean some 40 miles off the coast of Somalia, during an operation by Combined Task Force 150 (CTF150).

On board they discovered heroin hidden in 20 bags, each weighing between 20 and 25 kilogrammes, with a street value of £60 million.  

CT150, led by the Royal Navy’s Commodore Jeremy Blunden, targets illegal drug trafficking in the Indian Ocean - the proceeds of which help to fund terrorist organisations including al-Qa’ida and the Taliban.

Commodore Blunden said: “This is the seventh significant seizure by the Combined Maritime Forces this year – representing a further blow to the drug smuggling network.

“The interception of heroin traffic is an important part of the work of the Forces as some of the profit from the trafficking of heroin goes to extremist and terrorist organisations."

HMAS Darwin’s Commanding Officer, Commander Terry Morrison, said: "I am very proud of the hard work and determination of the ship’s company in HMAS Darwin during a particularly long and challenging interdiction.

"Due to the hard work of many previous ships deploying to this region, we have been very successful in intercepting illegal narcotics smuggling."

In April HMAS Darwin seized more than a tonne (1,032kg) of heroin from a dhow off Kenya.

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