London, July 23 (ANI): The US Coast Guard and British Royal Navy in a joint operation seized 55 million dollars worth of cocaine from a speedboat off the coast of South America.
A Coast Guard law enforcement boarding team from Miami, aboard the Royal Navy Frigate HMS Iron Duke, found the drugs on a go-fast vessel off the coast of Venezuela.
In a nighttime operation, HMS Iron Duke, working with the US Coastguard, boarded the drug traffickers' vessel and seized the cocaine-weighing three-quarters of a tonne.
The seizure was made while the Portsmouth-based Type 23 frigate was carrying out patrols in the Caribbean as part of a multinational task force to counter drug smuggling in the region.
Iron Duke first spotted the speedboat, known as a "go-fast" which is a vessel specially built by the traffickers, and scrambled its Lynx helicopter to investigate, The Telegraph reports.
The frigate then launched its sea boats after the helicopter crew observed cocaine bales being thrown overboard from the speedboat.
Along with US Coastguard personnel, the Iron Duke crewmembers carried out an armed boarding of the vessel and detained the drug traffickers.
As well as seizing the drugs, the speedboat was destroyed as it presented a hazard to local shipping.
Iron Duke's executive officer, Lieutenant Commander Alasdair Peppe said: "This is a good start to HMS Iron Duke's North Atlantic deployment. After only a week on patrol the ship has made a significant seizure of cocaine." (ANI)