Dutch Navy frigate HNLMS Van Speijk intercepted 1,600 kilos of cocaine during a New Year’s Eve operation in the Caribbean region.
The drugs were discovered on a Tanzanian flagged merchant ship en route to the Dominican Republic.
An embarked NH-90 detected the suspicious ship prompting a US Coast Law Enforcement Detachment team to board the vessel.
Worth noting is that the team failed to discover any drugs during the first sweep of the vessel. The vessel was thereafter diverted to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and tied up for a detailed search.
The drugs were eventually found in bales in a space between fuel tanks. The ship and its crew, along with the contraband were handed over to the Dominican Republic authorities.
This was HNLMS Van Speijk’s second drug interception within two weeks. The previous interdiction saw the crew seize 550 kilos of cocaine from a go-fast vessel.
The Karel Doorman-class frigate HNLMS Van Speijk (F828) is currently stationed in the Caribbean on a rotational deployment to Dutch overseas territories which started in November 2017.