Dramatic pics show Brit warship HMS Trent seizing £17m worth of drugs from speedboat smugglers in major Caribbean busts

Dramatic pics show Brit warship HMS Trent seizing £17m worth of drugs from speedboat smugglers in major Caribbean busts

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A ROYAL Navy warship has seized almost £17 million worth of cocaine and other drugs in two major busts in the Caribbean.

Dramatic pictures show British sailors, Royal Marines and a US Coast Guard team on HMS Trent intercepting smugglers on a speedboat immediately after a port visit to the island of Martinique.

Ministry of Defence/PA Wire

The Royal Navy warship HMS Trent seized millions worth of drugs[/caption]

Ministry of Defence/PA Wire

British sailors, Royal Marines and a US Coast Guard team carried out two major busts[/caption]

Ministry of Defence/PA Wire

The operations took place in the Caribbean sea where they chased drug smugglers on speedboats[/caption]

Across two operations, HMS Trent seized a whopping 200kg of cocaine and other drugs with an estimated street value of £16.7 million.

The warship launched fast sea boats to intercept the speedboat, seize the drugs and detain the crew before darkness fell.

Less than 48 hours later, HMS Trent worked with a US Coast Guard patrol aircraft to track and intercept another speedboat.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said the operations show the Navy’s commitment to “disrupt and dismantle” drug traffickers.

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He said: “These interceptions demonstrate the Royal Navy‘s commitment to disrupt and dismantle the operations of drug traffickers across the world.

“I congratulate the ship’s company for their invaluable efforts to keep illegal drugs off our streets.”

Commanding Officer Tim Langford added: “The flexibility shown by my ship’s company to move straight from high-level defence engagement activity in Martinique straight into successful boarding operations is a testament to their dedication and professionalism.

“The level of co-operation between the Royal Navy, US Coast Guard and other partners has been excellent, and has been key to making these seizures possible.”

HMS Trent has seized drugs worth £307 million since it began operating in the Caribbean at the end of 2023.

In February, £221 million worth of cocaine and other drugs was seized, in addition to £70 million in January.

The two separate raids saw sailors and Marines on HMS Trent – assisted by the US Coast Guard – chase down a speedboat as its crew tried to dump nearly three tons of Class A into the Caribbean Sea.

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Four were arrested and it took ten hours to find and collect all the drugs — worth £220.56 million.

The Navy called that a “high-octane chase under moonlight as the smugglers tried to offload their illegal cargo”.

It continued: “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.”

Of the February bust, a marine said: “This was a challenging operation and required us to push the boats to their limit.

“Despite their best efforts to evade us, and with our boats and the ship bearing down on them at speed, the 38ft go-fast finally gave up the chase and we were able to get alongside and enable members of the US Coast Guard to seize the vessel.”

The officer in charge of the US Coast Guard team added: “It is one of the largest single seizures in recent memory.

“Being able to recover such a large cargo of contraband over a 24-mile search area is unheard of and speaks to the level of skill the crew of HMS Trent has demonstrated.”

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HMS Trent

HMS Trent is a River-class offshore patrol vessel of the British Royal Navy.

It was built by BAE Systems at their shipyard in Govan, Glasgow, and was commissioned into service in August 2020.

The ship is designed for a variety of roles, including maritime security, counter-piracy, and anti-smuggling operations.

It has a length of approximately 295 feet and a displacement of around 2,000 tons.

HMS Trent is equipped with a range of sensors and weapons systems, making it a versatile asset for naval operations.

Ministry of Defence/PA Wire

Sailors intercepted the speedboat, seized the drugs and detained the crew before darkness fell[/caption]

Ministry of Defence/PA Wire

Picture shows the drugs seized in the Caribbean operations[/caption]

Ministry of Defence/PA Wire

Picture of one of the speedboats used by the drug smugglers[/caption]

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