French net huge cocaine haul on British yacht

1st September 2006, Comments 0 comments

RENNES, France, Sept 1, 2006 (AFP) - A Franco-Spanish narcotics operation has netted a shipment of three tonnes of cocaine worth an estimated EUR 200 million euros, French police said Friday.

RENNES, France, Sept 1, 2006 (AFP) - A Franco-Spanish narcotics operation has netted a shipment of three tonnes of cocaine worth an estimated EUR 200 million euros, French police said Friday.

The haul was found on a British-flagged luxury yacht boarded August 26 by the Spanish coastguard off the Canary Islands.

It was one of the biggest drug seizures ever made with the involvement of French police, officers said.

They added that 11 people were arrested, including the three people on board the yacht. Five of the suspects were French, they said, without giving the nationalities of the others.

"It is a gigantic network between Latin America and Europe that has been broken," said gendarme Colonel Hubert Bonneau, the French officer who led the operation with his Spanish counterparts.

He explained that the yacht, the "Spes Nostra", had left Spain two months ago and had returned to Europe after stops in Venezuela and in the Caribbean.

The cocaine was hidden in small packets in the 27-metre long vessel, which is registered in the English Channel island of Guernsey.

Spain is the main port of entry for Latin American cocaine. Last year, seizures of the drug reached a record 46.6 tonnes.

The Spanish police said in late June this year they had seized 3.5 tonnes of cocaine on a British-flagged fishing vessel raided off the southern port town of Cadiz. That operation resulted in the arrests of three Spaniards and two Colombians.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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