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NAVY NETS COCAINE HAUL WORTH pounds 240M.

THE Royal Navy has made its largest ever seizure of cocaine with a haul worth more than pounds 240m.

HMS Iron Duke seized more than five and a half tonnes of the drug in an operation off the coast of South America, it has emerged.

In the UK it would have a street value of pounds 240m, the Navy said.

Minister for the Armed Forces Mr Bill Rammell said: "Again, the Royal Navy has successfully damaged the trade in this vile substance, which only serves to poison our communities. The crew rightly deserve our praise and thanks for the work they do on our behalf."

The 138ft fishing boat MV Cristal was spotted by a Navy helicopter crew in an area known for trafficking, which led to a dramatic swoop with the US coast guard and another British ship RFA Fort George. In total 212 bales of cocaine were found, weighing about 26kg each. The crews then sank the drug smugglers' boat.

Prince William served on HMS Iron Duke last year when it seized cocaine worth pounds 45m in the Caribbean. In July this year, the ship was involved in a night time operation off South America which netted more of the drug, with a street value of pounds 33m.

CAPTION(S):

RECORD BREAKER Some of the 212 bales of cocaine seized on the MV Cristal in a Royal Navy operation.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 28, 2009
Words:231
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