1.1 tons of cocaine seized in US-UK operation
30 January 2014, 12:31
Miami - An estimated 37 million dollars worth of cocaine was seized and four people were arrested in a dramatic joint US-British operation off the coast of the Dominican Republic, the US Coast Guard said on Wednesday.
The operation was unique because it was the first time an armed US Coast Guard helicopter embarked from a foreign flagged military vessel - the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary Wave Knight - in support of counter-drug operations, the Coast Guard said.
The seizure took place 22 January after a Coast Guard patrol ship spotted a speed boat with four individuals and suspicious packages on board south of the Dominican Republic.
A US helicopter, which took off from a British Royal Air Force ship that was also on patrol, chased the boat as the suspected smugglers tossed packages overboard.
Finally, the helicopter crew shot out the boat's engine to force it to stop and arrested the suspects, a Coast Guard spokesperson told dpa.
The Coast Guard then fished 45 bales of cocaine from the water. The suspects have been turned over to the US Justice Department, and the 1.1 tons of cocaine have been unloaded in Miami.