Willemstad- Last Wednesday, July 31, 2019, a Venezuelan vessel with 10 people on board was intercepted by a Coast Guard Metal Shark in the territorial waters of Curaçao.
During the interception it appeared that the vessel suddenly started to sink. The 10 persons of various nationalities were taken to the Coastguard Support Center and handed over to the Curaçao Police Force. The vessel, which was now half under water, was then dragged in by the Coast Guard cutter Jaguar and brought to the Coast Guard jetty at the Parera naval base.
The following morning, 1 August 2019, the water was pumped out of the vessel, with the help of divers from the Ministry of Defense and the Curaçao fire brigade.
During a thorough search of the vessel by Coast Guard personnel, together with a team of naval ship Zr.Ms. Groningen and the Customs Department, more than 800 kilos of cocaine was found hidden on the vessel.
The drugs were discovered in a well-hidden compartment of the bark. The drugs have since been destroyed by order of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and those on board the bark are now considered suspects in this drug smuggling case.