The Caribbean Sea – The Royal Dutch Navy’s station ship in the Caribbean, M-frigate Zr. Ms. Van Amstel again made two drug busts last week, with a total of nearly 1100 kilograms of cocaine being confiscated.
The busts were a collaboration between several units involved in anti-drug operations in the Caribbean. Zr. Ms. Van Amstel with her NH-90 maritime combat helicopter once again worked together with a US maritime patrol aircraft, a US Navy patrol vessel and units of the US Coast Guard to detain a smuggling vessel, in making the third and fourth drug bust in a short period of time.
The van Amstel received a report of a suspicious small motorboat. This so-called “go-fast” was being monitored by the American patrol plane. Once in the vicinity, the Dutch frigate sent off its NH-90 helicopter and took over the task to monitor the suspicious vessel. The NH-90 managed to force it to a stop after which a boarding crew from the US Navy patrol ship detained the five crew members. Due to the incremental weather and waves up to 2.5 meters high, the crew members of the powerboat were severely exhausted. During the detention, a large number of suspicious packages were encountered which contained 750 kilograms of cocaine.
Fourth drug bust in 10 days
Two days later, the Dutch Royal Navy ship intercepted a second drug transport in the Caribbean Sea. During that action, 330 kg of cocaine was seized. The NH-90 maritime combat helicopter was also deployed during this action during which it monitored a fast motorboat until the van Amstel was nearby. The NH-90 then showed itself to the crew and signaled the go-fast to stop. The motorboat then went off at high speed, with the NH-90 in pursuit. Warning shots were fired to force the suspicious vessel to stop. When this again had no effect, the outboard engines of the boat were taken out with targeted shots. Zr. Ms. Van Amstel next launched her own fast-moving RHIB’s with a boarding team from the American Coast Guard. The four men crew was detained and transferred together with the smuggling goods to the patrol ship of the US Navy that had arrived on scene.
Station ship in the Caribbean
The Zr. Ms. Van Amstel is currently having a very successful term as station ship. The Royal Dutch Navy M-frigate managed to execute four major drug busts in ten days. On behalf of the Commander of the Royal Dutch Navy in the Caribbean, the Zr.Ms. Van Amstel conducts anti-drug operations in the Caribbean. The ship and its crew are part of a permanent multinational anti-drugs smuggling operation led by the Joint Interagency Task Force South. The ship operates within a Task Group commanded by the Commander of the Royal Dutch Navy. Anti-drug operations are one of the main tasks of the Dutch military forces in the Caribbean.
Source: St. Martin News Network
Zr. Ms. Van Amstel makes two major drugs busts again, four major drug busts in 10 days.