The NH90 helicopter of the Royal Dutch Navy hovers above the suspected go-fast situated in between the two Navy’s RHIB boats. (Dutch Defence photo)
THE HAGUE–The Royal Dutch Navy ship Van Amstel this week has intercepted two large batches of cocaine in the Caribbean Sea totalling close to 1,100 kilograms. It concerned the third and fourth haul in two weeks.
The first go-fast was spotted and kept under surveillance by the ship’s NH90 maritime-combat helicopter until the arrival of the Van Amstel. The helicopter went in pursuit when the go-fast tried to get away at high speed. Warning shots were fired, which the captain of the go-fast ignored.
In order to get the vessel to stop, the helicopter gunman took out the engines of the go-fast. The navy ship then deployed its Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) with a boarding team of the United States Coast Guard
The four men in the go-fast were arrested and transferred to the US Coast Guard, together with the 330 kilo cocaine. One of the smugglers was injured during the action. He was treated on board of the Navy ship and then flown out to a hospital.
Earlier this week there was another report of a suspected go-fast which was located about eight hours sailing from the Van Amstel. A US patrol aircraft kept an eye on the go-fast while the multi-purpose frigate set course towards the suspected vessel. The NH90 helicopter managed to stop the go-fast after which a boarding team of a US patrol ship arrested the crew.
On board of the go-fast, authorities found 750 kilo cocaine wrapped in packages. The five-member crew of the go-fast did not resist: they were exhausted by the bad weather conditions and the high waves of up to 2.5 metres.
This week’s interceptions were the third and fourth large drug catches this month. Only a week ago, Dutch Defence reported that it had caught two shipments of cocaine totalling close to 700 kilograms in one night. In these cases the interceptions were also carried out in conjunction with the US Coast Guard.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/65537-again-large-cocaine-busts-by-dutch-navy