Coast Guard offloads $8.25 million of cocaine

Seized contraband is offloaded from an airplane in Tampa, Florida, on April 7, 2016. The cocaine was seized from a suspicious vessel northwest of Aruba on April 2, 2016. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Ashley Johnson)

Seized cocaine is offloaded from an airplane in Tampa, Florida, on April 7, 2016. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Ashley Johnson)

MIAMI – U.S. Coast Guard and Dutch law enforcement teams seized 550 pounds of cocaine and detained one man during an at-sea interdiction northwest of Aruba, Saturday.

The seized cocaine shipment was estimated to have a wholesale value of more than $8.25 million.

While on a joint patrol, members of a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment along with the HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën crew detected and interdicted a suspicious vessel northwest of Aruba in international waters. Following the interdiction, a total of 550 pounds of contraband was discovered onboard the vessel and later tested positive for cocaine. The U.S. Coast Guard LEDET and HNLMS De Zeven Provincien crew took custody of the suspect, and seized the vessel and contraband. The suspect, vessel and contraband were later transferred to another U.S. Coast Guard LEDET working jointly with the USS Shamal.

On Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard LEDET and USS Shamal crew transferred the suspect and contraband to Panama Express Strike Force agents in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

The suspicious vessel became inoperable during the transit and was sunk as a danger to navigation.

The HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën is a 473-foot Dutch frigate. The USS Shamal is a 174-foot U.S. Navy patrol coastal ship homeported in Mayport, Florida

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