Dutch navy intercept 840 kg cocaine

In an ambitious effort led by the Dutch Navy HNLMS Van Amstel intercepted 42 bales of drugs during a counter drugs patrol in the Caribbean Sea. In close cooperation with the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard unit, the maritime patrol aircraft Dash 8, the ship disrupted a drugs transport of 840 kg of cocaine.


In the evening of October 26th the Dash 8 spotted a go fast close to the operation area of HNLMS Van Amstel. The Van Amstel launched it’s Rhib, a fast rubber motorboat into the water, with on board the Law Enforcement Detachment of the US Coastguard which is part of the crew of HNLMS Van Amstel during counter drugs operations. During the pursuit the boat threw several bales into the water. While HNLMS Van Amstel pursued the go fast, a second Rhib was launched into the water to pick up the packages. HNLMS Van Amstel picked up 42 bales out of the water. A drugs test proved that the bales contained cocaine.


The successful action of HNLMS Van Amstel is in concert with the international operation Martillo aimed against the illicit drug trade. Since September this year HNLMS Van Amstel is the Guard Ship of the Commander Netherlands Forces in the  Caribbean. The Dutch Navy and Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard are an integral part of the international struggle against the illicit drug trade. Operation Martillo is a multi-national collaborative effort to counter the spread of transnational organised crime in Central America. The operation is lead by the Joint Interagency Task Force South in Key West, Florida and denies organised crime networks the ability to conduct illicit trafficking via air and at sea. The Commander Netherlands Forces in the Caribbean is part of the Joint Interagency Task Force South, as the subordinate commander of Task Group 4.4.