Cargo ship carrying five tonnes of drugs seized off Aruba

Photo: Colombian Navy

A commercial vessel confirmed to be carrying narcotics was seized by Colombian and Dutch authorities in a joint operation in international waters off Aruba on Tuesday, February 25.

Colombian Navy boarding teams embarked on Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard patrol boats interdicted the Russian-flagged bulk carrier Aressa while it was en route to Thessaloniki, Greece, after having sailed out of Puerto Guaranao, Venezuela.

The boarding teams reportedly found that the vessel was carrying approximately five tonnes of cocaine believed to be slated for distribution in Europe.

Aressa‘s entire seven-man crew were subsequently arrested and the narcotics, which have an estimated European street value of €224 million (US$250 million), were confiscated.

Law enforcement agencies from the UK, Montenegro, and Serbia had also participated in the long investigation that ultimately led to the successful seizure of the bulk carrier and its illicit cargo on the high seas.

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