North Sea cocaine haul
A Royal Navy frigate seized three tonnes of cocaine from a tug in the North SeaNCA

A Royal Navy frigate has seized a massive £500m ($771m) of cocaine from a tug boat in the North Sea in the UK's biggest ever drug's haul.

More than three tonnes of the class A drug was recovered from an ocean going tug named "Hamal" intercepted following a joint National Crime Agency, Border Force and Royal Navy operation, 100 miles east of Aberdeen in the North Sea.

The vessel was taken to Aberdeen harbour where a search began led by Border Force officers with specialist deep rummage skills, with operational support from Police Scotland.

If cut and sold in the UK, the cocaine could have fetched a street value of more than £500m.

North Sea cocaine haul
The National Crime Agency supplied intelliganece for a frigate to seize three tonnes of cocaine from a tug in the North SeaNCA

John McGowan, senior investigating officer for the NCA, based at the Scottish Crime Campus, Gartcosh, said: "The search of this vessel has been lengthy and painstaking, undertaken by hugely skilled specialists working in difficult conditions.

"The result is this massive discovery – believed to be the biggest single class A drug seizure on record in the UK, and likely to be worth several hundred million pounds."

The nine-man crew of the Hamal, all Turkish nationals aged between 26 and 63, have been charged with drug trafficking offences.

They appeared before Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Monday 27 April where they were remanded in custody until their next appearance on Tuesday, 5 May.