More than a tonne of heroin worth an astonishing £160 million ($334 million) was seized in the Indian Ocean in a successful drugs bust led by the Royal Navy.

Operation Shirikisho targeted four fishing boats heading to East Africa and stopped the high-grade drug reaching the continent and then Europe.

Boats and helicopters were deployed during the operation and both the French and Australian Navy were heavily involved in the seizure.

After the illicit cargo was recovered it was lined up on a warship before it was taken away to be destroyed.


Commander of combined task force, Commodore Guy Robinson said: "This has been a highly successful operation to prevent a very significant amount of heroin from reaching the shores of Europe.

"It is also an excellent example of the impressive co-operation across CMF contributing-nations, at sea, in the air and ashore. We will continue to tackle this menace whenever, and wherever we can."

A few days later a French Marine Nationale ship patrolling off the coast of East Africa sent a boarding team to search another vessel and 130kg of heroin was recovered.

UK-led CTF 150 is part of Combined Maritime Forces, a multi-national naval partnership, which covers 3.2 million square miles of the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, and the Gulf region.

Captain John Craig, the Deputy Commander of CTF 150, said: "In addition to the successful seizure of such a large amount of drugs, operations like Shirikisho help us refine our tactical skills as we coordinate extensive air searches over enormous areas of ocean to locate traffickers in very small dhows.

"The opportunity to work with French and Australian ships and aircraft also improves our collective understanding of each other's operating capabilities, to make sure that we are as prepared as we can be for operations in the future.

"Multi-national co-operation has been vital to the success of the operation."