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Gulf drugbuster ship returns home

22 October 08 07:18 GMT

Hundreds of friends and loved ones gathered at Devonport naval dockyard on Wednesday to welcome home HMS Chatham after seven months at sea.

The frigate has been in the Gulf as part of the security operations there, protecting oil terminals and policing maritime traffic.

One high-visibility operation involved stopping a band of drug smugglers in their tracks.

Drugs seized included hashish, cocaine, opiates and amphetamines.

The drugs seizures were a joint operation with Pakistani, French and Canadian forces.

Some 23 tonnes were seized by Royal Navy warships, including HMS Chatham, in five months.

The navy said it believed the sale of the narcotics could have been intended to help fund Taleban fighters in Afghanistan.

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