*Photo supplied
*Photo supplied

A British warship that recently visited Bermuda has seized more than $140 million worth of pure cocaine in the Caribbean.

HMS Lancaster stopped off on the island on her way to a six-month counter-narcotic and disaster relief deployment.

And within weeks of -leaving Bermuda she has made a huge dent in the Caribbean’s underground drugs network.

The drama unfolded earlier this week in the Caribbean Sea when the frigate spotted a suspicious ‘go-fast’ speedboat off the coast of Puerto Rico.

The ship launched her Lynx helicopter and high-speed pursuit boat to intercept the vessel with three suspected smugglers on board.

As Lancaster approached, the men tried to ditch the drugs by throwing one bale of drugs overboard, but it was quickly recovered by the boat crew.

Twenty-two bales of the drug, weighing half a tonne, were seized along with the three men on board and then handed over to the authorities in Puerto Rico.

The empty drugs boat was subsequently sunk by Royal Navy gunfire to prevent its use in future smuggling operations.

HMS Lancaster’s Commanding Officer, Commander Steve Moorhouse, said:  “This is a great result not only for Lancaster but also everyone involved in the multi-national effort to stem the flow of drugs in the region.

“My ship’s company can be incredibly proud of what they have achieved, their professionalism and teamwork continue to shine, and our close relationship with our partner nations and law enforcement agencies is proving to be hugely successful.”

This is the ship’s third success in as many weeks and follows on from the seizure of a shipment of marijuana with a street value of up to £700,000.

Lancaster also intercepted another craft with a significant amount of cocaine and heroine on board.

Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond MP said: “This extraordinary quantity of drugs has been stopped from reaching the streets by the swift actions of the Royal Navy, working closely with the US Coastguard. 

“This is HMS Lancaster’s second counter narcotics patrol in the Caribbean to tackle the drugs trade and the entire ship’s company should be proud of this remarkable achievement.” n