Date: Saturday, February 04, 2006 5:02:20 PM EST
LONDON, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Two British Navy vessels seized more than 3 tons of cocaine from a freighter in the Caribbean.
The estimated street value of the haul is 350 million pounds ($617 million), the Times of London reported.
HMS Southampton, a guided-missile destroyer, and Grey Rover, a Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker, surprised the MV Rampage in the waters between Cuba and Jamaica. The Southampton was transferred to the Caribbean recently after serving as a patrol vessel in the South Atlantic.
The Royal Navy assists the U.S. Coast Guard with anti-drug efforts in the Caribbean.
The Rampage is now in the hands of the Coast Guard and its crew is in custody in the United States.
Commander Rob Vitali of the Southampton told the Times a Navy helicopter surprised the crew of the Rampage shortly before the Navy vessels appeared.
"They couldn't make a run for it because it was an old tramp steamer, so all they could do was play the innocent which is what they did," Vitali said.