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Hampshire warships makes £100m drug bust
A HAMPSHIRE based warship has seized a massive cargo of cocaine with a street value of £100million.
HMS Lancaster made the bust after the boat - concealed by a tarpaulin - was spotted by a US Customs and Border Agency aircraft in the Caribbean Sea.
A massive 680kg stash was uncovered after sailors boarded a speedboat near Puerto Rico.
This came after the Portsmouth-based frigate sped to the area and launched her Lynx helicopter and high-speed pursuit boat to intercept the 30ft vessel with three suspected smugglers on board.
As Lancaster approached, the men attempted to dispose of the evidence by throwing the drugs overboard, but these were quickly recovered by divers.
A total of 22 bales of pure cocaine were seized along with the three men on board who, ultimately, were fully compliant with the Royal Navy and US Coastguard team. The suspected smugglers and cocaine were then handed over to the Coast Guard Cutter Sapelo and then the authorities in Puerto Rico.
HMS Lancaster's Commanding Officer, Commander Steve Moorhouse, said: “This is a great result not only for Lancaster but also everyone involved in the multi-national effort to stem the flow of drugs in the region.”
As is standard practice, the empty drugs boat was subsequently sunk by gunfire to prevent its use in future smuggling operations.
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