Military Aid: Drugs

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 3rd December 2018.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, in which countries British armed forces are deployed in operations to tackle the illegal drugs trade.

Photo of Mark Lancaster Mark Lancaster The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

Defence supports the UK Government and international efforts to tackle the threat from illicit drugs. Our main efforts are focused on seizure and disruption of illicit narcotics on the high seas. All Royal Navy ships conduct maritime security tasks while on operations and transiting between ports. This includes counter narcotics, counter piracy, and anti people smuggling and human trafficking.

The Royal Navy is involved in multinational counter-narcotic operations primarily in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary also operates with US and other international partners to stem the flow of drugs from Latin America through the Caribbean, and across the Atlantic to UK and Europe.

At present RAF MOUNTS BAY is deployed to the Atlantic Patrol Task North and conducts counter narcotic operations as part of the deployment, generally outside the core hurricane period. In support of this task she routinely embarks a US Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment to assist.

The Royal Navy contributes to the Combined Maritime Force, headquartered in Bahrain, which promotes security, stability and prosperity across approximately 3.2 million square miles of international waters, encompassing some of the world's most important shipping lanes.

Last week HMS Dragon, a Royal Navy Type 45 Destroyer, interdicted 3,048kg of hashish from a dhow acting suspiciously in the Indian Ocean, along an area stretching from the Makran Coast to East Africa known as 'The Hash Highway.' HMS Dragon is part of the Royal Navy's commitment to the Combined Task Force 150 conducting operations in the wider Indian Ocean/North Arabian sea region.

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