UK warship seizes drugs worth $20m north of Seychelles' EEZ
This was the seventh seizure by the frigate operating in the Middle East for nearly three years. (Ministry of Defence - UK government)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Over 1 tonne of illicit drugs, worth over $20 million, was seized on Sunday by a UK navy warship, HMS Montrose, operating as part of a Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) of 34 nations, the British High Commission in Seychelles said on Tuesday.
According to a press statement, the seizure took place in the Gulf of Oman, north of Seychelles' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
A total of 663 kilogrammes of heroin, 87 kilogrammes of methamphetamine and 291kilogrammes of hashish and marijuana was seized in the 10-hour operation.
This was the seventh seizure by the frigate, operating in the Middle East for nearly three years, and the bust has deprived criminal and terrorist networks of around $108 million of funding, according to the British High Commission.
The commanding officer of HMS Montrose, Claire Thompson, said that "a seizure of this size will deal a huge blow to the criminal or terrorist gangs using these illegal narcotics to fund their activity."
Seychelles forms part of the CMF as it relies on international partners in the surveillance of its EEZ of 1.4 million square kilometres.
Major Renny Bulmer, the UK's liaison officer to the regional maritime security centres in Seychelles and Madagascar, expressed continued support to Seychelles in the counter-narcotics fight in the region.
"The UK government and armed forces worked closely with our Seychellois colleagues on the fight against piracy. We are committed to working just as closely in combatting the threat that the trade in illegal narcotics poses to Seychelles, the region and to countries and communities around the world," he said.