Royal Navy warship seizes over $15 million worth of narcotics in Arabian Sea

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The Royal Navy warship HMS Montrose has intercepted over 2 400 kg of illicit drugs as a result of back-to-back successful interdictions in the Arabian Sea.

The boarding team from HMS Montrose, operating under the command of CMF Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) found the drugs – with a combined estimated wholesale value of over $15 million (£10.9m) – following searches of suspicious vessels whilst undertaking a counter-narcotics patrol.

In the most recent operation, which lasted over ten hours, over 2 145 kg of hashish, heroin, and methamphetamine were seized. This came just two days after a separate bust in which 275 kg of heroin was seized in the same area, CMF said on 17 February.

Commander Ollie Hucker, HMS Montrose Commanding Officer said; “These interdictions have prevented significant amounts of illicit substances being sold on the streets, whilst denying criminal groups an income source often associated with the funding of terrorism.”

CTF-150 operates to disrupt the activity of criminal organisations, in particular narcotics and weapons smuggling. After taking command of the task force in late January 2021, The Royal Canadian Navy has already overseen multiple significant successful interdictions, of which these two are the latest.

“As Commander of Combined Task Force 150, my team is resolute in our objective to promote security, stability and prosperity in an area which comprises some of the world’s most important shipping routes,” said Commodore Dan Charlebois, Commander of CTF-150.

“This interdiction was a direct result of the collaborative effort between Task Force staff and HMS Montrose, to whose crew I send my personal thanks for their skill, determination and professionalism in a challenging environment. I look forward to future successes as we continue to work together as close partners towards our common goals.”



HMS Montrose is the Royal Navy’s Forward Deployed Frigate and has been in the region since early 2019. The UK actively supports several operations and multi-national task forces in the Middle East in order to protect international and British interests.