Coke found by marines stationed in St. Maarten | THE DAILY HERALD

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The Van Braam Houckgeest barracks in Doorn where a batch of cocaine possibly from St. Maarten was detected on Monday.

DOORN–Defence personnel on Monday detected 16 sports bags with a large amount of illegal drugs, presumably cocaine at the barracks in Doorn, the Netherlands, that came out of a sea container allegedly from St. Maarten. Military personnel that had returned from St. Maarten after providing assistance on the island in connection with Hurricane Irma detected the drugs when they came to the barracks to collect their personal belongings.

The marines filmed how they found the sports bags. They were completely taken by surprise. According to Dutch media, the video footage shows 16 sports bags between the pallets, a box containing a BBQ and the green steel cases in which the marines transport their belongings. The marines who found the drugs were stationed at the barracks in St. Maarten for four months and assisted after the hurricane.

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Dutch Defence confirmed that personnel of the marine corps on Monday detected a large amount of drugs at the Van Braam Houckgeest barracks in Doorn. The Royal Marechausse was immediately alerted. The Marechaussee safeguarded the drugs and has started an investigation.

The weight of the drugs was unknown up to Tuesday night, but media are saying it concerned several dozen kilograms. The drugs have been sent to the Netherlands Forensic Institute NFI for further investigation. No details about the source of the drugs were released by Defence, but according to Dutch media, the drugs came from St. Maarten in a sea container.    

Considering the large amount, it is most likely that the drugs were not for own personal use, but destined to be sold in the illegal circuit. The container in which the drugs were found were brought to the Netherlands via a regular shipping agent. The container was sealed after the marines had placed their belongings in it. Sources say that the seal may have been messed with.

The case is painful for Defence. In the past there have been cases of drugs smuggling. Late 2006, cocaine was found on board of the Tjerk Hiddes naby frigate in Curaçao, and in 1999 several members of the military were convicted to prison terms because they had smuggled cocaine on board of Orion patrol aircraft.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/78686-coke-found-by-marines-stationed-in-st-maartenx

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