Dutch Navy ship makes first drug interception on Caribbean deployment

The Royal Netherlands Navy ship HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën seized more than 400 kilos of marijuana in the Caribbean last week.

De Zeven Provinciën was joined by members of the US Coast Guard and the Belgian Navy Alouette III helicopter which is embarked on the Dutch frigate.

The action was coordinated by the Bombardier Dash 8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft of the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard which spotted the suspicious vessel in the early morning hours.

Three men on the ship carrying contraband spotted the aircraft and started fleeing, throwing packages over board. The boat was eventually stopped and boarded by the group.

According to the Royal Netherlands Navy, 400 kilos of marijuana was recovered from the water, but not all packages were found in the pursuit. The U.S. Coast Guard team searched the fishing boat while the suspects and the drugs were turned over to the U.S. authorities.

HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën departed Willemstad, the Netherlands, on January 10 for its Caribbean deployment where it is scheduled to stay on station for five months conducting coast guard duties and anti-drug operations. This is the frigate’s first drug bust of 2016.

Last year, The Royal Netherlands Navy intercepted as much as 6,000 kilos of marijuana and more than 2,600 kilos of cocaine in the region.