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    U.S. Coast Guard, British sailors seize 6,000 pounds of cocaine in Caribbean Sea

    By Sheri Walsh,

    2024-03-04

    March 4 (UPI) -- The U.S. Coast Guard and a British warship have recovered some 6,000 pounds of cocaine, with an estimated street value of $280 million, following a high-speed chase on the Caribbean Sea near the U.S. Virgin Islands, officials announced Monday.

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0UvfOI_0rgC4JBo00
    British sailors on the HMS Trent celebrate a coordinated drug bust with the U.S. Coast Guard near the U.S. Virgin Islands, netting approximately 6,000 pounds of cocaine, with an estimated street value of $280 million, officials announced Monday. Photo courtesy of U.K. Ministry of Defense

    British sailors on the HMS Trent and an American patrol aircraft chased, and eventually intercepted, the drug-smuggling boat as the crew began tossing its cargo into the water, according to a statement by the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defense.

    This is the HMS Trent's second drug bust in three weeks, after seizing $90 million of cocaine in January.

    "Drugs bust #2 for Trent!" the HMS Trent wrote in a post Monday on X, along with photos of the coordinated effort. "Running total seized is now 8,031 pounds, worth over $380 million."

    DRUGS BUST #2 for TRENT! A further 616kg recovered by TRENT following a pursuit, with a whopping 2151kg⚖️seized ashore by Law Enforcement coordinated from TRENT by USCG. Running total seized is now 3,643kg, worth over £300m @RoyalNavy #TeamTrent #FwdDeployed Watch this space... pic.twitter.com/DJg0v15XbO — HMS Trent (@HMSTrent) March 4, 2024

    "During a high-speed chase, the smugglers tried to offload their illegal cargo, but Royal Marines coxswains and the USCG boarding team closed in, took control of the vessel and detained four crew members," the ministry added.

    The crew aboard the HMS Trent spent 10 hours searching a 24 square-mile area of the Caribbean Sea, and managed to retrieve close to 2,000 pounds of cocaine that had been tossed into the water.

    While officials did not reveal when the drug seizure was made, or where the drugs came from, Commanding Officer Tim Langford praised both the British and U.S. crews for their work.

    "The achievements of this ship and her crew in the last nine months have been spectacular, and it is brilliant to see the hard work and dedication of this amazing team paying off," said Langford. "The team is rightly proud of their efforts, and those of our USCG colleagues."

    The Caribbean Sea is a heavily trafficked avenue for illegal drugs, according to a report on the Caribbean narcotics trade from the White House.

    In January, federal agents seized more than a ton of cocaine aboard a ship en route to Humacao, Puerto Rico.

    "This operation sends a clear message: The Royal Navy remains resolute in its efforts to disrupt and dismantle the operations of drug traffickers across the world," Grant Shapps, U.K. Secretary of State for Defense, said Monday.

    "We will continue to ensure that those who seek to profit from illegal drugs face the full force of justice."

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