BRADES, Montserrat, Monday June 28, 2010 – Five nationals of St Vincent and the Grenadines are now in police custody after being arrested in a US$2.4 million drug seizure by the Royal Montserrat Police Force (RMPF) and the HMS Manchester.
The HMS Manchester had recently arrived to pay a three-day courtesy call on Montserrat when it was involved in the seizure of the 350 kg (770) pounds of marijuana last Friday.
According to a statement from the HMS Manchester, the Lynx helicopter was conducting aerial reconnaissance around the island when a power boat was observed operating in a manner that raised suspicion of illicit activity.
HMS Manchester directed the RMPF to launch MV Shamrock to intercept the vessel and then spotted 12 by 25kg bales which had been landed onto a beach, it added.
The helicopter was used to transfer the bales from the beach to an area where the transfer could be made to the local police.
I am delighted that cooperation between the Royal Montserrat Police and HMS Manchester has resulted in the seizure of a significant quantity of narcotics, HMS Manchester Commanding Officer Rex Cox said.
The RMPF is continuing investigations into the seizure. This is the second major seizure of drugs in as many months. In May, the force made the largest drug interdiction to date.
The HMS Manchester, which is in the Caribbean to provide assurance to the Overseas Territories, Disaster Relief during the hurricane season and Counter Narcotics operations until December, recently returned from an operations deployment in the South Atlantic.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010