Major arrests in transcontinental cocaine swoop

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Among the others arrested were a Bulgarian girlfriend of the "brains", an Italian based in Marseille and a Frenchman in Belgium.

   NICE, France, January 21, 2008  - Eight alleged cocaine traffickers
including a member of the '70s-era "French Connection" have been arrested in a
transcontinental operation, French police said Monday.
   Police seized 180 kilos of the drug in the Dutch port of Rotterdam and
conducted arrests in France, Belgium and Peru -- with the "brains" of the
cartel, a Paris-based high-roller, expected to appear before a judge shortly,
police said.
   Exported from Colombia, the cocaine was destined for France's southern Cote
d'Azur, and came from the same source as 320 kilos already seized in Peru at
the end of November.
   The Peruvian arrest, one Lester M.P., was described by South American
police to their French counterparts as "a major political and industrial
figure" in Callao, a port neighbouring the capital Lima.
   "They were really pleased to get him," the French policeman said.
   The drugs packages were dispersed within a cargo of exotic wood and it took
police, acting on a tip-off, two days to isolate them.
   Among the others arrested were a Bulgarian girlfriend of the "brains", an
Italian based in Marseille and a Frenchman in Belgium.
   The group had set up a shelf 'import' company in Anvers, northern France.

AFP 

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