Dutch Navy red-faced again over drugs

7th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

7 July 2006, AMSTERDAM — The Dutch navy faces embarrassment when a sailor appears in court in the Netherlands Antilles in August on drug smuggling charges.

7 July 2006

AMSTERDAM — The Dutch navy faces embarrassment when a sailor appears in court in the Netherlands Antilles in August on drug smuggling charges.

The 26-year-old man, who has not been named, is accused of smuggling 34 kilos of cocaine on the frigate Hr.Ms. Van Speijk as it returned from Curaçao in the Netherlands Antilles.  

The vessel had been stationed in the Caribbean for several months and its main duty was to help intercept ships carrying drugs.

A spokesperson for the Public Prosecutor's Office in Willemstad on Curaçao confirmed the suspect is to appear in court on 24 August. He was arrested in May.

Prosecutors regard the cocaine consignment as "large" and the man could in theory face life imprisonment if convicted. Two civilians have also been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the smuggling.

The incident is not the only time Dutch Navy personnel have been implicated in drug trafficking. Frigate Hr.Ms. Tjerk Hiddes, which replaced Van Speijk in the Antilles, was also used to smuggle drugs. Three sailors were arrested in relation to that case.

Over the years Dutch military personnel have been accused of transporting drugs from the Caribbean on naval ships and planes.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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