The Dutch naval vessel HNLMS Holland, in close collaboration with the US Coast Guard and the Caribbean Coast Guard, has contributed to the interception of 4735 kg of cocaine during 5 different actions. In addition, HNLMS Holland took on the coordination and direction of the participating units for the first time. Last month, the naval vessel was also involved in 3 drug seizures.
A so-called go-fast was intercepted in the morning of Thursday 25 November. The fast smuggling boat was picked up by the sensors on board HNLMS Holland near a well-known smuggling route. The station ship then gave chase and launched its FRISC interceptors. As soon as the people on the go-fast realized that they were being followed, they started to put the packages of drugs overboard. The go-fast has been forced to stop with warning shots. About 200 kg of drugs were found on board and another 1000 kg were recovered from the water. This brings the total to 1200 kg. The four people on board have been detained by the US Coast Guard.
A few days later it happened again. While on patrol on Nov. 28, a Dash-8 coastguard plane spotted a suspicious vessel. He passed on the position to HNLMS Holland, whereupon the ship deployed its FRISCs and NH-90 helicopter and directed one of the US Coast Guard cutters to contact. By the time the American ship arrived, the NH90 helicopter and the FRISCs had stopped the go-fast with warning shots. An American coast guard team seized 1,855 kg of cocaine and detained 3 suspected smugglers on board.
On December 3, an American patrol plane discovered a fast-moving go-fast, whereupon one of the US Coast Guard cutters is ordered to intercept it. During the interception, four suspects were detained and 1000 kg of cocaine were seized.
A few days later, another patrol plane spotted a go-fast smuggling boat. The NH90 helicopter and FRISC boats were able to intercept the drug boat after HNLMS Holland had chased the go fast for some time. The US Coast Guard team aboard the FRISCs found 570 kg of cocaine and detained three suspects.
On Monday, December 13, just out of sight of HNLMS Holland discovered a go-fast by a patrol plane. Within a short time, the on-board helicopter and both FRISCs were launched to intercept the go-fast. This time, however, the craft refused to stop and after the firing of warning shots, the outboard motors were eventually disabled from the helicopter. Three people on board were detained and 110 kg contraband were seized and handed over to the United States Coast Guard.
A total of 4,735 kg of cocaine was intercepted and 17 suspects were detained. The drugs and suspects have been turned over to the US Coast Guard and are being extradited ashore for prosecution.