HMS Dragon, a Royal Navy Type 45 Destroyer, has interdicted 3048kg of hashish from a dhow acting suspiciously in the Indian Ocean, along an area known as ‘The Hash Highway.’

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The warship was operating as direct support to CTF150, the CMF’s counter terrorism and narcotics smuggling task force, commanded by Commodore Hassan Alsharani of the Royal Saudi Navy. The Royal Saudi Naval Forces assumed command of CTF150 in August of this year and ships acting in direct support to their maritime security operations have seized over 10, 500kg of hashish in this time.

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Deploying both the Royal Naval and Royal Marine boarding teams to ensure crew safety and facilitate the technical search of the vessel, the team found false compartments within which 148 bags of narcotics were found.

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Lieutenant Laurie Williams RN (Deputy Marine Engineer and Royal Naval Boarding Officer) said: “During our initial search, it became apparent that there were a number of discrepancies with the dhow. This led to a search of the vessel, where my team managed to find drugs hidden within it. This success validates the significant hard work of all onboard to ensure that we were in the right place, with the right training and equipment to achieve this result. The boarding team have all put in a lot of work to ensure that, alongside their core roles onboard, they were able to find and seize a large amount of illegal drugs.”

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Commander Mike Carter-Quinn, Dragon’s Commanding Officer, said: “This seizure is testament not only to days of focussed hard work, but also to months of effort in preparation for HMS Dragon’s operational deployment. The Dragons – all 260 of my crew, from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, and US Coastguard – have done themselves and their families proud and I couldn’t be more proud and honoured to serve with them every day.” HMS Dragon will continue to support CTF 150’s mission over the coming days.

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This brings the total of hashish seized by CMF warships in 2018 to 45, 400kg, the most in CMF history and almost a 4 fold increase from 2017.