UK Arrests Drug Smuggling Tug in the North Sea

cutter valiant uk MV Hamal
Image: UK National Crime Agency

The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), with support from the Royal Navy frigate HMS Somerset and Border Force cutter Valiant, intercepted an ocean-going tug in the North Sea last week and made a “potentially significant seizure of illegal drugs,” according to John McGowan from the NCA.

“The exact amount of cocaine on board is yet to be determined and the search is likely to continue for some time,” said McGowan.

hms somerset
Image: UK NCA

The MV Hamal and it’s crew of nine men was intercepted about 100 miles east of Aberdeenshire on Thursday, 23 April as a result of close cooperation with the French Customs Service DNRED and in coordination with the UK’s National Maritime Information Centre (NMIC) plus the Maritime Analysis and Operational Centre – Narcotics (MAOC-N) based in Lisbon.