The Royal Navy has seized more than one tonne of illicit drugs in the Gulf of Oman.
In an operation lasting almost 10 hours, a Navy team including Royal Marines, left HMS Montrose and boarded the suspect boat in international waters off the coast of Oman.
The drugs were brought back to HMS Montrose, operating as part of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), before they were analysed and destroyed.
They included 663kg of heroin, 87kg of methamphetamine, and 291kg of hashish and marijuana, with an estimated value of almost £15m.
HMS Montrose Commanding Officer, Commander Claire Thompson, described the seizure as “substantial”, adding that she is “extremely proud of my team”.
“Our enduring presence never wanes,” she added.
“Nine rotations into the forward deployed model, HMS Montrose remains as professional and enthusiastic as ever.”
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “As a result of this successful bust, our streets are safer and (we) have choked off a huge source of finance to international organised crime groups.”
No details were given about the boat or its origins.
The seizure is the largest Royal Navy drugs bust since HMS Montrose seized 2.4 tonnes of drugs in the Arabian Sea last year.
US Navy stops boat
Also on Sunday, the US Navy announced it had seized a boat in the same waters that had been carrying fertiliser which could be used to make explosives.
The US Navy’s 5th Fleet said its guided missile destroyer USS Cole and patrol ships had stopped and searched the boat – a stateless fishing dhow sailing from Iran to Yemen last Tuesday.
The route is well-known for weapons smuggling.
The boat has previously been stopped off the coast of Somalia loaded with thousands of assault rifles and rocket launchers, thought to be from Iran and destined for Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Iran has said it politically supports the rebels but denies arming them.