Navy nets £80m drug haul after boat chase

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The Independent US

A Royal Navy helicopter crew chased drug smugglers through Caribbean cays and mangrove swamps in a "James Bond-style" operation which netted cocaine with an estimated street value of up to £80m.

The smugglers were eventually forced to beach their high-powered speedboat after a three-hour pursuit. They were spotted in a 50ft speedboat in the open sea off the coast of Belize in Central America on Monday night by a Lynx helicopter from HMS Coventry.

After the speedboat failed to answer any of the Lynx crew's attempts to make radio contact, the helicopter"buzzed" the boat, forcing it to change course for the low-lying islands and reefs off the Belize coast. The Lynx pursued the smugglers through mangrove swamps for nearly an hour, when the smugglers panicked, abandoned the drugs and fled on foot. Two Belize police boats were continuing to search the island.