THE CARIBBEAN SEA: Zr.Ms. Groningen intercepted four drug shipments within three weeks. This brings the total number of drug seizures to 13, since the ship was docked at the end of April in the Caribbean Region.
In recent weeks, the patrol ship, together with the US Coast Guard forced four so-called go-fasts (fast motorboats) to stop. A total of more than 4800 kilograms of contraband, including cocaine and marijuana, were found.
On Friday, august 19th. Groningen struck the first of the four fast motorboats. Once close the go-fast Groningen launched 2 FRISC’s. On board there was a combined boarding team of the US Coast Guard and the crew of the Zr.Ms. Groningen. They were able to stop the boat with approximately 600 kg cocaine and 4 suspects on board. Besides the Groningen also a Dash-8 maritime patrol plane of the Coastguard Caribbean Region were involved in this interception.
The next three interceptions took place in rapid succession shortly thereafter. Thus on August 30th., September 1st. and 3rd., a total of 3 go-fasts were stopped, where another 4200 kilos of contraband were intercepted and 10 suspects arrested. The 14 suspects have been handed over to a a ship of the American Coast Guard for further persecution. The contraband was destroyed.
With these four drug seizures the counter of the Groningen reaches 15.000 kilo of intercepted drugs. Zr.Ms. Groningen is in the Caribbean Region as station ship where she alternately cooperates with the Coast Guard Caribbean Region as well as the US Coast Guard, in counter drugs operations.