A Royal Navy frigate has seized 870 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine worth an estimated $45 million from a fishing vessel in the Middle East.
HMS Montrose (F 236) was operating in international waters in the Gulf of Oman as part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 on October 2, when it detected the vessel and carried out the interdiction.
Montrose is a Duke-class frigate that has been operating in the Middle East since March 2019. Montrose will soon be joined by HMS Lancaster, another frigate that embarked on the three-year Middle East mission in August this year.
“HMS Montrose again proves the value of having a forward-deployed presence in the region,” said Cmdr. Claire Thompson, the ship’s commanding officer. “This shows the professionalism of the boarding team and whole ship’s company.”
Led by the Royal Saudi Navy, CTF 150 is one of four task forces under Combined Maritime Forces, the largest multinational naval partnership in the world. CTF 150 conducts maritime security operations in the Gulf of Oman and North Arabian Sea to help ensure the free flow of commerce.
The October 2 mission followed a successful intercept of an estimated $85 million worth of heroin from a fishing vessel in the Gulf of Oman. In the largest drug interdiction in the Middle East by international naval forces this year, US Coast Guard cutter USCGC Charles Moulthrope (WPC 1141) seized 2,410 kilograms of heroin on September 27.
Combined Maritime Forces is the largest multinational naval partnership in the world. The organization includes 34 nations and is headquartered in Bahrain with US Naval Forces Central Command and US 5th Fleet.