Dutch Navy ship ‘Friesland’ disrupts substantial drug run PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 16 May 2013 11:16
Part of the US-led international effort against transnational organised crime, the Dutch Navy ship HNLMS Friesland successfully disrupted a drug run off the coast of Costa Rica.
The Friesland is the current guard ship of the Commander Netherlands Forces in the Caribbean. The newest Oceangoing Patrol Vessel of the Royal Netherlands Navy earlier concluded a seizure of 1453 kg of cocaine on the high seas in March.
Operation ‘Martillo’
In support of operation ‘Martillo’, a US maritime patrol aircraft detected two ‘go-fast’ high speed vessels at night. HNLMS Friesland operating in the vicinity was directed towards the ‘go-fasts’. One of the boats fled towards the Central American coast with the Friesland and its fast interceptor FRISC manned by Dutch marines in pursuit. Under difficult conditions at unseasonable hours, the Friesland and its FRISC tried to apprehend the fleeing ‘go-fast’. Eventually it disappeared into the night but not before its crew jettisoned several bales of contraband. By first daylight the Friesland launched its helicopter with Belgian crew to look for the contraband and was able to recover 89 bales of what turned out to be almost 1600 kgs of marihuana. The drugs have been handed over to the US Coast Guard for further analysis.
Multi-national collaboration
The Dutch Navy are an integral part of the international struggle against the illicit drug trade. Operation ‘Martillo’ is a multi-national collaborative effort to counter the spread of transnational organised crime in Central and South America. The operation is led by the Joint Interagency Task Force South in Key West, Florida and denies organised crime networks the ability to conduct illicit trafficking via air and at sea. The Commander Netherlands Forces in the Caribbean, brigadier general D.A. Swijgman is part of the Joint Interagency Task Force South, as the subordinate commander of Task Group 4.4.
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