Friesland intercepts go-fast with 1,500 kilos of cocaine – Largest drug bust in Coast Guard history

POSTED: 03/8/13 1:40 PM

drug bust

The Coast Guard found 51 bales of cocaine on the go-fast. Photo Prosecutor’s Office.

St. Maarten – The Coast Guard seized a go-fast carrying close to 1,500 kilos of cocaine on Monday, 400 miles south of the island. It is the largest drug bust in the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard’s history. Three crew members – two from the Dominican Republic and one from Venezuela – were arrested; the drugs have been destroyed.

The “go-fast” was heading north and was cut off by the Royal Dutch Navy’s patrol vessel Friesland that was guided and supported by the Coast Guard’s DASH 8 reconnaissance aircraft.

Two on board interception sea craft (FRISCS) were launched and took care of the interception during which several warning shots were fired.

On board of the go-fast the Coast Guard found 51 bales with a white substance which after testing turned out to be cocaine. The three male crew members were arrested. According to their information two of them were born in the Dominican Republic and are 29 and 34 years old. The third suspect claims to be born in Venezuela and is 33 years old.

The drugs and the boat were seized. The total gross weight of the seized drugs was 1,453 kilos. Cocaine has been valued by authorities in St. Maarten at $7,000 per kilo, putting the local value of the shipment at $10.1 million, but its street value is up to four times higher because drug dealers mix the dope with other substances to increase volume.

Tuesday afternoon upon arrival in Sint Maarten the suspects were handed over to the local police who will take care of the case and do the further investigation. The suspects were taken into custody and will be questioned. They appeared before the investigating magistrate yesterday afternoon.

The investigation so far has shown that the go-fast was not destined for Sint Maarten but on its way from the South American continent towards islands North of Sint Maarten. Given the intervention by the Coast Guard and upon their request, Sint Maarten law enforcement agencies, in view of international obligations, decided to show their willingness to investigate and prosecute this case by claiming jurisdiction. “By doing so Sint Maarten has shown to be a reliable partner in the fight against international drugs trafficking organizations,” the prosecutor’s office stated in a press release.

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