WILLEMSTAD, KRALENDIJK - The Dutch navy has intercepted a large batch of cocaine in Bonaire at the end of last month. 390 kilos of cocaine were seized by the naval vessel Zr.Ms. Groningen at the end of August, reports the Dutch Ministry of Defense.
The cocaine could have yielded nearly 20 million euros in the Netherlands. The Royal Navy did the catch together with the American coast guard. The Navy is only now reporting on this in connection with the legal settlement of the case.
The drugs and crew of the ship have been transferred to the US authorities. The United States is responsible for prosecuting the suspects. It is still unclear where the drugs and the smugglers come from.
Since April this year the station ship Zr.Ms. Groningen has been active in the Caribbean. The ship is not only used for combating drug trafficking. It is also used for rescue operations, humanitarian assistance and tracing illegal fishing and environmental crimes.
3500 kilos of cocaine already intercepted
The Zr.Ms. Groningen has been part of a trial of the Royal Netherlands Navy since April. During the trial, the ship will remain in the Caribbean for two years and only the crew will be replaced every four months. Previously the ship was also changed. Today the ship's crew was relieved for the first time.
The first crew of the ship has intercepted 3500 kilos of cocaine since April. They collaborated with the coast guard of the Caribbean, the US coast guard and the Joint Interagency Taskforce South. At the beginning of August, the navy intercepted another 470 kilos in the vicinity of Aruba. And at the end of May a load of 1600 kilos of cocaine was intercepted in the area.