15 Aug 2013

British Navy seize cocaine

10:48 am on 15 August 2013

A British frigate on an anti-drugs mission in the Caribbean has seized a consignment of 680kg of cocaine.

The BBC reports Royal Navy sailors seized the cocaine with an estimated street value of £100m after they boarded a speedboat near Puerto Rico.

Personnel on the HMS Lancaster intercepted smugglers during a Caribbean patrol targeting South America-to-UK traffickers.

Men onboard the 9.1m speedboat threw drugs overboard which were later retrieved by divers. In all, 22 bales of pure cocaine were seized.

The speedboat, which was covered in tarpaulin, was initially spotted by US Customs and Border Agency aircraft.

The Royal Navy frigate launched its Lynx helicopter and high-speed pursuit boat to intercept the boat which had three suspected smugglers on board.

The men, along with drug haul, were handed over to the Coast Guard Cutter Sapelo, and then to authorities in Puerto Rico.

The empty boat was then sunk by HMS Lancaster's guns to "prevent its use in future smuggling operations".