Royal Navy seizes £36m worth of cocaine after high-speed chase in Caribbean

It’s the third time in recent months that HMS Argyll has intercepted drug smugglers at sea

The Royal Navy has seized £36m worth of cocaine from a vessel following a high-speed midnight chase across the Caribbean.

This most recent drugs bust is the third carried out by HMS Argyll in the last few months, with the latest haul detaining 850kg of the illegal drug.

The Plymouth based frigate apprehended the suspect boat after being alerted by a US customs aircraft, which directed the ship to intercept.

HMS Argyll was pushed to maximum speed and quickly closed the 70-mile gap between them and the smugglers.

As the warship approached the suspect vessel, a high-speed chase ensued, with the smugglers attempting to dispose of the evidence by throwing it overboard.

High tech radar technology was used to guide a small patrol boat, which surrounded the smugglers and forced them to surrender.

Lieutenant Matthew Turner said: “It was an intense couple of hours as we were trying to out-think and out-maneuver a small boat which can change direction in an instant.

“I think our training, during which we push the ship and ourselves to the limit, really helped us to make this operation such a success.”

This is the third time the ship has intercepted drug smugglers, having now seized a total of 1,600kg of cocaine with a combined value of more than £68m.

HMS Argyll’s commanding officer Paul Hammond said: “This night time drugs seizure had no helicopter support and was our most challenging and satisfying yet.

“The Royal Navy has helped remove a large quantity of drugs from circulation and that, along with our disaster relief and engagement work, has helped demonstrate the value for money a modern day warship provides.”

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