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1 Dutch US seize on Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:16 pm


Dutch, U.S. forces seize cocaine in Caribbean

utch Navy and a squad of U.S. Coast Guard raiders seized 4.6 tons of cocaine from a Panamanian-flagged freighter that had set sail from Venezuela, Dutch and U.S. officials said Friday.

The Dutch Navy said it is the largest haul of cocaine it has ever intercepted.

"This seizure underlines the excellent cooperation between all our partners in the region and once again confirms the importance of our presence in the Caribbean," said Rear Adm. Peter Lenselink, the commander of Netherlands Forces in the Caribbean.

The Dutch Navy said its regional headquarters in Curacao received information last week that a Panamanian freighter might be smuggling drugs from Venezuela to Europe. A Dutch coast guard vessel, with about a half-dozen members of a U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment aboard, was dispatched to intercepted the freighter.

At dawn on Sunday, the Dutch frigate and its helicopter approached the freighter at high speed in the Caribbean south of Puerto Rico on Sunday, the Dutch Navy said.

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