The station ship of the Royal Navy in the Caribbean, the M-frigate Zr. Ms. Van Amstel, has during the night of 11 on April 12, 2017 two parties cocaine intercepted. Even before the first accused and found drugs were transferred to the US Coast Guard, a second smuggling vessel was nabbed. In total, nearly 700 kilograms of cocaine seized.
During a shooting exercise off the coast of Curaçao, a report came in about a suspicious ship. It turned out to be a quick little motorboat, a so-called “go-fast”. This was at that time north of the territorial waters of Colombia. Sr. Ms. Van Amstel sailed at full speed towards the specified position, and the NH-90 helicopter aboard was used to detect the ‘go-fast’. Some nautical miles of the vessel is Zr. Ms. Van Amstel launched its two RHIB’s with a boarding team from the US Coast Guard. The NH-90 has two RHIB’s then directed to the suspect vessel. When the RHIB’s were close to suspicious packages were thrown into the sea from the go-fast. By enlighten from the NH-90 that could be found quickly. Ten packages were fished out of the water and aboard the go-fast ‘were found three crew members and three suspicious packages. Since the smuggling vessel was not seaworthy, the crew and their contraband were taken aboard Zr.Ms. Van Amstel. After examining the packages were found to contain cocaine. In total there are approximately 325kg.
Second smuggling vessel
Even before the three crew and taken cocaine could be transferred up to the US Coast Guard, a new message inside. A reconnaissance plane of the Caribbean Coastguard (type Dash-8) explained Zr.Ms. Van Amstel on the night of 12 on April 13, 2017 in a newly suspicious contact. Again, the NH90 maritime combat helicopter was on dispatch. The suspect vessel did not respond to the various stop signals were transmitted from the helicopter. Warning shots were needed to force it to stop. Thereafter could both RHIB and the Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) of the US Coast Guard, perform a boarding. 15 bales of cocaine (about 350 kg) were seized. The passengers are held and transferred, together with the contraband on a vessel of the U.S. Coast Guard. The Commander of Zr.Ms. Van Amstel, commander H.J.F. Toebast, said after two successful operations within a very short timeframe.
On behalf of the Chief of Naval Forces in the Caribbean performs Zr. Ms. Van Amstel current anti-drug operations in the Caribbean Sea. The ship and its crew is taking part in an ongoing multinational counter-narcotics operation conducted by the Joint Interagency Task Force South. The ship operates within a Task Group on which the Commander of the Navy in the Caribbean in command. Anti-drug operations are one of the main tasks of Defense in the Caribbean. •