Royal Navy stops three tonnes of cocaine from entering UK near Aberdeen

£500million of cocaine has just been stopped from entering UK
The boat being intercepted by the Royal Navy (Picture: EPA/NCA)

The Royal Navy has carried out Britain’s biggest ever drugs bust taking half a billion pounds from a boat near Aberdeen.

Three tonnes of cocaine were on the tugboat about 100 miles off the coast last Thursday, it has emerged.

MV Hamal was intercepted by frigate HMS Somerset and Border Force cutter Valiant after a tip off from the National Crime Agency.

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The Ukrainian-owned ship, registered in Tanzania, had set sail from the Canary Islands.

It was searched in Aberdeen and officers found drugs with a street value of more than £500 million – five times more valuable than the UK’s previous biggest drugs bust.

epa04726926 A handout photograph made available by the British National Crime Agency (NCA) on 30 April 2015 showing the MV Hamal (L) being boarded by a team from the British Royal Navy frigate HMS Somerset and Border Force cutter Valiant about 100 miles east of the Aberdeenshire coast of Scotland on 23 April 2015. More than three tonnes of cocaine has now been recovered from the ocean going tug intercepted following a joint NCA, Border Force and Royal Navy operation in the North Sea.øThe result of this discovery ñ believed to be the biggest single class A drug seizure on record in Britain, and likely to be worth several hundred million GBP. The nine-man crew of the Hamal, all Turkish nationals aged between 26 and 63, have been charged with drug trafficking offences.  EPA/NCA / HANDOUT  HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES
The haul is the biggest in UK history (Picture: EPA)

Boat

John McGowan, senior investigating officer for the NCA, based at the Scottish Crime Campus, Gartcosh, said: ‘The search of this vessel has been lengthy and painstaking, undertaken by hugely skilled specialists working in difficult conditions.

‘The result is this massive discovery – believed to be the biggest single class A drug seizure on record in the UK, and likely to be worth several hundred million pounds.

‘Our investigation continues, but the operation was only possible thanks to the close co-operation between the NCA, Border Force, the Royal Navy, plus the French DNRED and our other international partners.

‘The extensive operation in Aberdeen was given substantial support from Police Scotland.’

The nine-man crew of the Hamal, all Turkish nationals aged between 26 and 63, have been charged with drug trafficking offences.

They appeared before Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Monday 27 April where they were remanded in custody until their next appearance on Tuesday 5 May.

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30 April 2015 | 2:07 pm – Source: metro.co.uk

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