Trio with drones near French nuke plant were 'model enthusiasts'
Two men and a woman arrested with drones near a French nuclear plant turned out Thursday to be harmless model enthusiasts and nothing to do with a mysterious spate of drone flyovers.
Prosecutor Vincent Bonnefoy told reporters that the two drone flights near the power station at Belleville-sur-Loire in central France "had no connection with the other nuclear sites overflown since October".
According to Bonnefoy, the trio said they wanted to take pictures with the drones of a model boat they were floating on a lake near the power station.
The two men, aged 24 and 31, were kept in custody however, to give investigators time to check out their story.
The 21-year-old woman was released.
They were "model enthusiasts", with a completely unblemished police record, the prosecutor said.
French authorities have been left scratching their heads as a series of unidentified drones have been spotted zooming over nuclear plants across the country.
State-run power company EDF rang the alarm bells last week when it announced it had filed a complaint with police after detecting the small unmanned aerial vehicles zipping over seven atomic plants in October.
Since then, more have been spotted and there have been at least 16 flyovers throughout France, usually at night, leaving jittery authorities clueless as to who is piloting these helicopter-type machines at a time of heightened vigilance in the face of Islamic extremism.
Some experts say they believe the recent spate of mystery fly-overs is probably being carried out to prove a point about nuclear security.
French law bans small, civilian drones from areas such as nuclear facilities, which are protected by a no-fly zone that spans a 2.
6-mile) radius and a height of 1,000 metres.
© 2014 AFP