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  • UKRN Drugs bust

    Royal Navy seize another huge cocaine haul
    7 Nov 06

    British naval forces have taken part in their fourth major drugs bust on the high seas in just two months during a precision-planned operation in the Atlantic Ocean.


    Captured: MV Orca II in the Atlantic with Royal Navy frigate HMS Argyll in the background


    MV Orca II with seaboat

    Seized drugs

    The operation, which completed yesterday, 6 November 2006, was a combined venture with the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and Spanish Customs.
    Royal Navy frigate HMS Argyll, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary supply ship RFA Fort Austin, Sea King helicopters of 849 Naval Air Squadron and Royal Marines from 40 Commando all assisted in the seizing of narcotics with an estimated street value of some £58.8 million.
    The British and Spanish authorities worked together to intercept the 862-tonne offshore supply vessel MV Orca II 360miles (580 km) off the Cape Verde Islands. The vessel was suspected of carrying drugs for onward transmission to Europe and the UK from South America, and Spanish Customs agents found approximately 1.3 tonnes of cocaine on the ship.
    The operation was swift, and left no opportunity for the traffickers to evade law enforcement agencies. The MV Orca II is now being taken into a Spanish port by Spanish Customs officers.
    The latest find comes after the first success of HMS Argyll - again working with Spanish Customs and SOCA, and with the tanker RFA Gold Rover - when 1.8 tonnes of cocaine was found on MV Ster II off West Africa in early October.
    Separate operations in the West Indies saw the Royal Fleet Auxiliary supply ship Wave Ruler carry out two major drug busts in September and October, seizing a total of about eight tonnes of cocaine.
    HMS Argyll's commanding officer, Commander Will Warrender, said:
    "The Royal Navy is working closely with other agencies such as SOCA in the fight against drugs, I am delighted yet again that we have been able to play our part in the battle to keep drugs off our streets."
    Defence Secretary, Des Browne added:
    "This is great news – our fleet has dealt a considerable blow to those who seek to sell drugs on the streets of Britain, not just once, but four times in the past two months."

    Photo of Orca II in Holland last year!
    http://www.shipspotting.com/modules/....php?lid=97265
    Last edited by Dogwatch; 11 November 2006, 13:50.

  • #2
    Previous drug bust

    9th Oct 2006
    Royal Navy in £60m Drugs Haul
    The Royal Navy has made a major drugs haul off the coast of West Africa. Two tonnes of cocaine were found in a 260 ton unregistered vessel, with a UK street value of some £60 million.


    HMS Argyll's Lynx over drug smuggling vessel


    Argyll Escorting Drug Runner


    Fuel tanks next to go fast.



    Comment


    • #3
      Nice Capture. Interesting use of the IBCs as fuel tanks. I count 7000 litres there.


      Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

      Comment


      • #4
        I've always wondered underwhat powers the Royal Navy conduct operations like these (outside UK waters), or how they have jurisdiction to conduct anti drugs ops in the Caribbean where they station a Frigate on a semi permanent basis for that role ?

        Anyone know ?
        'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

        Comment


        • #5
          Under International Maritime law, a navy can board a vessel flying their national flag on the high seas (i.e. international waters). The only place a navy can't board it's own flagged vessels are in the territorial waters of another country.

          Under International Maritime Law, if a vessel is not flying it's flag of registry on International waters, one can then make the assumption that it is flagged in your country & board it. This is primarily how the USN, USCG & UKRN board vessels outside of their territorial waters & contiguous zones.

          If you know the flag of the vessel that is suspect, it's country can be contacted and permission can be sought from their Dept of Foreign Affairs to board it.

          With regard to UKRN Operations in the Caribbean, many of the islands are still dependancies of the UK, therefore they can operate in their waters. Other nations then have agreements with the likes of the US, which allows the USCG & USN to operate in the territorial wtaers of their country. The US would normally give the country extra funding & military aid for this right.
          Last edited by Dogwatch; 11 November 2006, 13:50.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks Dogwatch.
            'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

            Comment


            • #7
              If a suspect vessel makes it into the territorial water of a British dependency the RN still has to seek permission from them to continue the pursuit or alternatively hand over to the local authorities. Just because an island is a British dependency doesn't mean they'll give the RN carte blanche to steam in anywhere!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Goldie fish View Post
                Nice Capture. Interesting use of the IBCs as fuel tanks. I count 7000 litres there.
                What are IBC's? And why would people not use their original fuel tanks? Or are they used to extend the range?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Haven't seen that acronym UKRN used before.
                  Covid 19 is not over ....it's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sunnyjim View Post
                    What are IBC's? And why would people not use their original fuel tanks? Or are they used to extend the range?
                    Intermediate Bulk Container ( The white plastic containers) Nominal capacity of 1000litres for the purposes of storing a variety of liqiuds. There are aslo IBC Bins that are used for powder and solids storage in the chemicla and pharmacutical industry.

                    The original fuel tanks probably would not have had the range required by the drug runners. The fuel in the IBC could be siphoned into the tanks when running empty and also shifted to distribute weight on board. It's best practise for small vessels to carry an auxillary supply of fuel onboard, not only for extending range and or operation but also in case the tanks are contaminated by water.
                    "The Question is not: how far you will take this? The Question is do you possess the constitution to go as far as is needed?"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Good catch, anyway.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by hptmurphy View Post
                        Haven't seen that acronym UKRN used before.
                        Used in most Defence magazines to differentiate between the other Royal Navies in Europe.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Rooster View Post
                          If a suspect vessel makes it into the territorial water of a British dependency the RN still has to seek permission from them to continue the pursuit or alternatively hand over to the local authorities. Just because an island is a British dependency doesn't mean they'll give the RN carte blanche to steam in anywhere!
                          If they have signed treaties with them, they will have the right to steam in anywhere. Many of the dependancies have done this with the UK, as I said, in return for aid, finance, etc. Some of the Island Class OPV's have been sold to the Caribbean at knock down prices.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Slightly off topic, but I read somewhere recently that the ex HMS Jersey, Island Class, capsized during a typhoon in the Indian Ocean. Don't know if it sunk or not.
                            'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dogwatch View Post
                              Used in most Defence magazines to differentiate between the other Royal Navies in Europe.
                              The UK´S RN is the only RN in the World

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