Two go-fast boats and 1,000 kilogrammes of cocaine were intercepted by a US Coast Guard law enforcement team onboard the Dutch patrol ship Zr.Ms. Groningen is the latest accomplishment for the Coast Guard’s partnership with allied troops in the Caribbean as reported by Maritime Executive.
A marine surveillance plane noticed a go-fast boat in the initial interception, and the Groningen was dispatched to intercept it. The boat was intercepted by a US Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and aircrew, who were on board Groningen. They forced the little boat to come to a halt, and a team aboard a Groningen RIB launch arrived to make an arrest and seize the drugs on board.
The crew of the Groningen saw another go-fast boat shortly after the initial intercept. It was pursued by a Coast Guard helicopter and two of the ship’s RIBs. The second intercept resulted as a result of this.
Between the two operations, the USCG and the crew of the Groningen confiscated almost 1,000 kg of cocaine and arrested five suspects. The contraband and detainees have been turned over to the United States Coast Guard for prosecution.
To expand the reach of its counternarcotics campaign in the U.S. 4th Fleet, the U.S. Coast Guard deploys law enforcement detachments aboard vessels of the U.S. Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Navy and the Royal Netherlands Navy.
The massive quantity of target-ready smuggling exceeds the capacity of the Coast Guard patrol fleet to intercept, and the participation of allied vessels helps expand the USCG’s bandwidth in the Caribbean.
For the Netherlands, the counternarcotics campaign is a matter of national interest.
The lion’s share of the drugs passing through Caribbean waters ends up in nearby container ports, where the narcotics get stuffed into “innocent” containers and shipped to Europe – a more lucrative destination market than the United States.
This rampant trafficking is supporting a resurgence in organized crime – and the inevitable corruption and violence that follow – on Dutch soil.
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Source: Maritime Executive