WILLEMSTAD–Royal navy ship Zr. Ms Zeeland intercepted a 600-kilo drugs shipment on the way back from Curaçao to the Netherlands after completing its tour in the region.
The Dash-8 patrol plane of the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard detected a suspect contact Northeast of Bonaire. The military vessel headed for the location and spotted a boat with three occupants.
Zeeland launched its onboard helicopter and both interceptors. The captain of the “go-fast” did not heed orders to stop at first, so warning shots were fired.
The crew then threw their cargo overboard. Finally, the outboard engines were shot at and disabled, forcing the boat to a halt.
Twelve bales with in total about 600 kilograms of what appeared to be cocaine were fished out of the water during a search. These were confiscated and the three men on board were arrested.
The suspect vessel was no longer seaworthy and was sunk.
Zeeland played an important role in providing relief assistance to St. Maarten and Dominica following the passages of respectively Hurricanes Irma and Maria. She will now be replaced by multi-purpose frigate Zr. Ms. Van Speijk, scheduled to arrive in Willemstad on Friday, November 10.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/70619-zeeland-intercepts-600-kilos-of-cocaine