Over seven tonnes of cannabis seized in Paris
Customs officials seized more than seven tonnes of cannabis in three vehicles parked in an upmarket area of Paris, French President Francois Hollande said Sunday, in the biggest ever such haul in the capital.
The discovery overnight Saturday to Sunday is the result of a weeks-long investigation by the National Directorate of Customs Intelligence and Investigations (DNRED).
"The drugs were found in empty vehicles, parked on a boulevard, that were obviously being used as temporary and mobile storage places," Finance Minister Michel Sapin said in a statement.
The cannabis was in big bags in the trunks of the vehicles in Paris's 16th district, and altogether, the total value of the 7.1 tonnes seized is thought to be at least 15 million euros ($17 million).
The seizure is the biggest France has seen "in a long time" and the largest ever in Paris, Hollande said as he visited the DRNED's headquarters in the outskirts of Paris.
"I came here to congratulate the customs officials who were able, last night, after working for a long time, to seize more than seven tonnes of cannabis," said the president.
Cannabis is the most popular drug in Europe and consumption is on the increase, particularly in France where demand is estimated at around 300 tonnes a year, according to authorities.
Possession or consumption of cannabis represent more than 60 percent of all offences linked to drugs in Europe.
© 2015 AFP