UK navy seizes $15m crystal meth shipment in Arabian Sea

UK navy seizes $15m crystal meth shipment in Arabian Sea
British navy frigate HMS Montrose seized the 870kg cargo of crystal meth amid frequent drug busts in the Red and Arabian seas this year.
2 min read
09 October, 2022
A Saudi-led coalition of 38 countries currently patrols both the Red and Arabian seas [Getty]

The British Royal Navy has seized a shipment of methamphetamines worth over $15 million in the Arabian Sea. 

The 870kg cargo of crystal meth was seized from a small wooden dhow by HMS Montrose this week, the UK Ministry of Defence said in a statement on Friday. 

UK authorities say the international drugs trade is a key funding tool for terrorists, rogue states and arms dealers in the region. 

"Disrupting terrorist organisations, criminals and their funding lines is key to keeping to UK, and rest of the world, safe," the British vessel's commanding officer Claire Thompson said. 

The identity of those on board is not yet clear - nor is the jurisdiction in which the alleged traders may face trial. 

UK navy frigate HMS Montrose has been deployed in the seas around the Middle East since 2019, as part of a Saudi-led initiative with 38 other countries that patrol both the Red and Arabian seas. 

High-level drug busts have been frequent in the two seas throughout 2022. 

In January, HMS Montrose seized more than a ton of illegal drugs from a small fishing vessel in international waters off the Gulf of Oman.  

Both Iran, whose southern border meets the Arabian Sea, and Afghanistan are major producers of methamphetamine for the global drugs market.

The drug trade is booming in Afghanistan as Taliban authorities continue to turn a blind eye.

Up to 3,000 kilograms of the highly addictive are produced daily in the Afghan city of Bakwa alone, according to reporting by The New Arab.