The crew of a Royal Netherlands Navy ship boarded and seized a vessel carrying a significant quantity of drugs in Caribbean waters earlier this month.
On December 2, the Holland-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) HNLMS Groningen was conducting a routine maritime patrol when it was directed by the crew of a Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard surveillance aircraft to assist in intercepting a small “go-fast” boat suspected to be carrying smugglers and a cargo of narcotics.
Groningen then deployed a helicopter and an interceptor boat with an embarked boarding team consisting of personnel from the Netherlands Marine Corps and the US Coast Guard to prevent the suspect vessel from escaping.
The smugglers were eventually forced to surrender to the Dutch and American authorities, who found an estimated 1,420 kilograms of cocaine on board the go-fast boat during a subsequent search.
The smugglers and the narcotics were later turned over to a waiting US Coast Guard vessel for prosecution in the United States.
This latest high seas drug seizure is the fourth to be conducted by Groningen‘s crew over a two-month period.
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