After a major search on board Zr.Ms. Johan de Witt has been found drugs again by the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee. The LPD returned on Thursday after deployment in the West and an exercise near Spain. In September drugs were found at a crew member of the ship, there were indications that more were on board.
Zr.Ms. Johan de Witt left Den Helder at the end of August for the Caribbean Coast emergency relief exercise in the Caribbean. While the JWIT made the crossing, hurricane Dorian destroyed islands of the Bahamas. The ship was then (after a stopover on Sint Maarten), with hydrographic survey vessel Zr.Ms. Snellius, directed to the Bahamas. Afterwards it sailed to Curacao where the ship had to undergo an emergency repair. The ship sailed to Den Helder via a port visit to the US and Lisbon, where it arrived on Thursday. But instead of a relaxed return home, the ship, the helicopters and the crew awaited a police and customs investigation team. The ship was thoroughly searched on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday it was announced that 11 kilos of hard drugs were found. The search was set up because, according to the Marechaussee, there were indications of the presence of drugs on board. A 23-year-old soldier from the Johan de Witt was arrested last month when he had 11 kilos of drugs in his backpack. It is currently being investigated whether there is a connection between the two parties.
Drug capture is again a disappointment for the navy. In a year and a half, it is certainly the fourth time that a large amount of drugs is found in the navy. In July 2018, drugs were found by marines at the Marine barracks in Doorn in a container that came from the West, in June 2019 a cargo of cocaine was found at the naval base on Curacao , in September and in October on board Zr.Ms. Johan de Witt. Exercise skipped?
Zr.Ms. In the context of the upcoming leadership role of the Netherlands in the NATO Response Force task force in 2020, Johan de Witt would participate in the Dynamic Mariner exercise after the exercise in the West. This exercise ran from 7 to 18 October from the Spanish Rota. However, the ship was still in the US three days prior to the start of the exercise, and nothing has ended up in the public domain of participation in the exercise by the JWIT, while the Navy had previously announced that it would pay a lot of attention to participation by the Johan. de Witt. The Van Speijk was visible on social media.