NEWS

Greek link in French drug haul being investigated

Handout photo from the French police.

TAGS: Crime

A motor yacht believed to have carried almost 2 tons of cocaine into France before sinking appears to belong to a young Greek with an offshore company in the Pacific, police sources have indicated.

French authorities have already arrested 10 Greeks, a Moldavian and a Spaniard after seizing nearly 2 tons of the drug on June 20 in the Landes region on the southwestern coast. It is thought that the drugs were brought to shore in speedboats from a bigger vessel and transported by car to a stash house.

Five of the Greeks and the two other suspects were arrested near the drop point after officers responding to an SOS call from a boat discovered debris and 1.7 tons of cocaine on the beach and the other five in the hideaway, where another 180 kilos of the drug was found.

Greek narcotics agents have since been working closely with French authorities to shed more light on the case. What local authorities know so far is that the 10 Greeks have no known profession or source of income. One of them, aged 29, visited Colombia in March and another, 28, was in Venezuela just weeks before being arrested in France. There is also evidence that Spanish suspect has been in Greece before and may have worked as the go-between for acquiring the drugs in Latin America.

The suspected owner of the Island Time motor yacht, meanwhile, seems to have traveled to the island of Martinique in March in the vessel, which has also been recorded as sailing off the coast of Venezuela.

The cocaine has been valued at 150-180 million euros.

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