First Look

RFA Wave Knight in £6.4 million drugs bust

British High Commission Kingston | 2013-09-13 00:00:00

• Marijuana valued at £6.4 million recovered in central Caribbean
• Suspects handed over to Jamaican authorities

The British Royal Fleet Auxiliary Wave Knight has again been in action against Caribbean narcotic traffickers resulting in a successful take-down of a suspect fishing vessel.

In a multi-agency operation involving UK and US assets, a suspected vessel, Miss Tiffany, was detected in the Central Caribbean and a decision taken to investigate. The crew was seen jettisoning a number of suspect packages overboard.

A total of 55 bales were eventually recovered from the sea. Subsequent onboard analysis strongly suggested these bales contained Marijuana – a haul of some 2812 lb / 1276 Kg with a street value of around £6.4M. The boarding operations, preservation of evidence and detention of seven crew members will hopefully lead to a successful prosecution in court.

Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond said:

" This drugs bust follows recent successful interdiction and deterrence operations by HMS Lancaster and HMS Argyll in the Caribbean which all contribute to ensuring illegal drugs do not reach our streets.”
The total disruption was estimated as being in the region of 4,000lb – or a tonne and three quarters – a street value of approximately £9m.  A custody crew was subsequently embarked on the Miss Tiffany which enabled the fishing vessel to be delivered to Jamaican authorities.

RFA Wave Knight - a 31,500 tonne Fleet tanker - is currently deployed to the Caribbean in support of Atlantic Patrol Tasking North (APT(N)) with HMS Lancaster. This is part of the UK’s year round commitment to the region in support of the Overseas Territories, Disaster Relief and Counter Narcotic Operations.

This latest success was in support of ‘Operation MARTILLO’ - a 15-nation collaborative effort to deny transnational criminal organizations air and maritime access to the littoral regions of Central America and focus on putting a stop to the illegal movement of drugs from South America into the Caribbean and onwards to the UK. Wave Knight has been involved in several counter drug bust operations this year with over 1 tonne of drug disruptions previously attributed to her name.


Posted By :Samara South

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