Royal Navy Makes Major Drug Bust Off Bermuda

hms argyll royal navy
Image: Royal Navy

The British Royal Navy reports that HMS Argyll, a Type 23 frigate, has seized $15M (10M Pounds) worth of cocaine from a drug smuggling yacht off the coast of Bermuda.

The HMS Argyll had just left Bermuda, where the crew was conducting disaster relief operations following the devastating Hurricane Gonzalo.  The ship’s Lynx helicopter spotted the suspicious yacht and the Argyll plotted a course to investigate. 

The US Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) onboard was able to locate ten bales of cocaine throughout the vessel before taking the two crew members into custody.

HMS Argyll has had a successful deployment thus far, with this marking the second large bust in two months.  In August, they seized $35M (21M pounds) worth of cocaine as part of a 15-nation collaborative effort, Operation Martillo (“hammer” in Spanish).  Operation Martillo is a U.S., European and Western Hemisphere effort targeting illicit drug trafficking routes in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus. 

The ship’s commanding officer, Commander Paul Hammond noted “I am extremely proud of my ship’s company; we put in a significant effort to assist the citizens of Bermuda and to sail and immediately conduct a slick interception of a dug smuggling vessel demonstrates dedication and the utmost professionalism.”

Based in Plymouth, the ship is the longest-serving Type 23 frigate.  She has a displacement of 4,900 tons and a crew of 185.