Patrol vessel rookies seize major cocaine haul in first few hours on duty

Young people are being sucked into drug running.
Young people are being sucked into drug running.

A naval patrol vessel has helped intercept a major drugs shipment off the coast of Curaçao hours after its relief crew finished training.

Never before has a freshly trained crew been called into action this quickly, the defence ministry said.

The Zr. Ms. Groningen had just been declared operational when the island’s coast guard alerted the captain to a suspicious speedboat. The crew of the Groningen sprang into action and launched two fast vessels, firing warning shots as they closed in on the smugglers.

A shot by a coastguard marksman on board a helicopter disabled the outside motor of the speedboat. Some 650 kilos of cocaine were found on board, as well as four guns.

The five-man crew was taken into custody.

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