HMS Somerset seizes £8.5m heroin haul in Arabian Sea raid

HMS Somerset on operations in the Gulf Image copyright MOD
Image caption HMS Somerset intercepted the suspect fishing boat in the Arabian Sea

The Royal Navy has seized heroin with an estimated value of £8.5m in a search of a boat in the Arabian Sea, the MoD has confirmed.

Nearly 60kg of the drug was confiscated from a suspect fishing boat and later destroyed by sailors and Royal Marines from Plymouth-based HMS Somerset.

HMS Somerset's Lynx helicopter was launched to intercept the boat.

Teams then spent 23 hours searching before finding the contraband hidden under a false deck.

Image copyright MOD
Image caption Teams searched the boat for 23 hours before finding the drugs hidden under a false deck

The drugs were brought on board HMS Somerset where they were tested for purity before being destroyed.

Commander Mike Smith, Commanding Officer HMS Somerset said: "Courage and teamwork were central to halting this shipment.

"I am incredibly proud of what my team has achieved."

Royal Navy Commodore Jeremy Blunden said: "I am delighted that HMS Somerset has made this interception.

"This is the ninth seizure of heroin made this year as part of a determined effort to combat both the flow of heroin across the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean to East Africa and funding to terrorist organisations."

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