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OPERATION BAYWATCH: 4 Members of the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard Arrested In Curacao For Aiding Drug Traffickers

Dutch carib Coast-Guard

WILLEMSTED – Three members of the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard and one former member were arrested by Curacao authorities Wednesday following a corruption investigation on the island.

The four men are suspected of providing assistance to criminals involved in drug trafficking and face charges that include corruption, money laundering and drug offenses when they are arraigned on Friday, said Norman Serphos, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in Curacao.

Police also arrested another man and two women in a series of raids on 14 homes across the island. The authorities confiscated what Serphos described as large amount of cash as well as one weapon, computers and about 20 pills of the drug ecstasy. The names of the suspects were not released.

Serphos said the investigation dubbed “Operation Baywatch” began in May after officials with the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard began to suspect that someone inside the organization was leaking information to smugglers.

The Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard patrols the waters off Curacao, St. Maarten, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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