For several weeks, packages with hundreds of kilos of cocaine arrive regularly at the French beaches of the Atlantic coast, from the Basque Country to the mouth of the Loire. The authorities try to prevent the neighbours from taking the drug. A minor was arrested with 5 kilos of cocaine.
Where do these mysterious packages of drugs that reach the Atlantic coast come with the tides? According to the Rennes prosecutor’s office, which is carrying out an investigation, 763 kg of drugs worth about 3 million euros have already been recovered between the Basque Country and the mouth of the Loire.
Several hypotheses are being considered. According to the researchers, they would come from the loading of a drug-trafficking ship that sank in the sea due to bad weather and strong waves. It is also possible that they were voluntarily discharged into the sea by traffickers who, after damage to their ship, feared being controlled by the authorities. Already last September, similar cocaine bricks were stranded in Florida, pushed by the currents after the passage of Hurricane Dorian.
The packages arrived in France – some of which were opened after several days at sea – were carefully packed, wrapped in several layers of black plastic and transparent cellophane paper. They were labeled “Diamond” or “Brilliant”, probably to indicate the quality of the merchandise.
An extremely pure drug
This is what worries the police the most: the cocaine found would be 83% pure. The person who consumes it risks an overdose. Therefore, the police ask the population to act with caution. Recommends that those who discover these packages on the beach do not touch them and notify the authorities immediately. Also remember that the transport of such products is punishable by ten years in prison. Several municipalities of the Gironde have already issued orders to prohibit access to beaches. Others could mimic the measure, since the entire Atlantic coast is affected by this wave of drugs.
Meanwhile, a 17-year-old was arrested Monday by gendarmes in possession of 5 kg of cocaine collected on a beach in Lacanau, banned from the public, the prosecutor said.
The boy, from the Toulouse region, is in police custody for “possession of narcotics,” and faces a penalty of up to 10 years in prison, as he himself has stated.
The first package containing a kilo of cocaine was found on October 18 in the Vendée region. Hundreds more were later discovered on the beaches of Charente-Maritime, Landes and Loire Atlantique. The phenomenon has spread so much that the various services have established intensive surveillance. In Gironde, for example, customs and gendarmerie helicopters fly over the coast to try to locate the packages. Controls to check the trunk of vehicles are also being reinforced.
The investigations initially carried out locally by the prosecutors of Saint-Nazaire, Bordeaux or Dax have been centralized since November 8 by a specialized court in Rennes. Police cooperation with European and American authorities has also been established.