Royal Navy seizes nearly £300m of drugs in the Caribbean Sea

On March 4th, the UK Royal Navy announced that HMS Trent and its personnel had been involved in significant counter narcotics operations in the Caribbean. In the most recent action, British sailors, Royal Marines and a U.S. Coast Guard team on HMS Trent intercepted a suspected smuggling speedboat south of the US Virgin Islands.

The smugglers began jettisoning their illegal cargo as they fled towards land, but HMS Trent, her fast sea boats and an American patrol aircraft gave chase – eventually recovering 94 bales of class-A narcotics, weighing 2,757kg and worth an estimate £220.56m.

The seizure was the second success in recent weeks for HMS Trent and her crew. In late January, working with U.S. Coast Guard assets, Trent seized £70.1 million worth of cocaine, pursuing a Go Fast smuggling vessel as night fell. The Royal Navy said: “A high-octane chase ensued under moonlight as the smugglers tried to offload their illegal cargo, but Royal Marines coxswains and the USCG boarding team closed in, took control of the vessel and detained four crew members.

“As the sun rose, Trent’s 60-strong crew scoured the ocean for the abandoned cargo, eventually retrieving 29 bales of cocaine weighing in at 876kg after an extensive ten-hour search across 24 square miles.”