Frigates ‘Ventôse’, ‘Résolue’ seize 2.4 tonnes of cocaine | THE DAILY HERALD

Bundles of cocaine on the deck of “Le Ventôse” with the captured yacht in the background. (Photo: Armed Forces of the Antilles.)


MARIGOT–Under the authority of the Préfecture of Martinique, the government's delegate for Action by the State at Sea, and the admiral commanding the Antilles maritime zone, the two vessels of the French Navy carried out two successive operations on the high seas off Martinique.

On the evening of May 2, the “Ventôse” surveillance frigate seized 1,237 kilograms (kg) of cocaine from a sailing boat in the Atlantic, 510 nautical miles (around 950 kilometres (km)) off Martinique. Upon boarding the yacht, the inspection team found a number of suspicious bundles of cocaine inside the Polish-flagged yacht. The contraband found tested positive for cocaine.

The Polish authorities, having waived their jurisdiction in favour of France, the two crew members, the cargo (54 bundles) and the yacht were brought back to Fort-de-France by the “Ventôse” and handed over on May 7 to the Specialised Inter-Regional court (JIRS) in Fort-de-France, which is continuing its investigations.

On Thursday, May 9, the Antilles-Guyane patrol vessel “La Résolue” of the Armed Forces in French Guiana also intervened at night on a vessel in the Atlantic 1,230 nautical miles (around 2,300km) south-east of Martinique. The vessel had no apparent name or nationality. Numerous bundles of cocaine were discovered inside the vessel.

Some 52 bundles were seized, weighing a total of 1,236kg, which were then destroyed in accordance with the dissociation decision taken by the public prosecutor's office in Fort-de-France.

These operations were carried out with the support of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and partners from the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre (Narcotics) (MAOC-N), the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the UK National Crime Agency (NCA).

In addition to the French armed forces, they also involved the Caribbean anti-drug trafficking office OFAST and the specialised inter-regional court (JIRS) in Fort-de-France. They demonstrate France's determination to hinder the flow of cocaine by sea and the importance of being able to rely on the resources of the French Navy based in French Guiana.

Since the beginning of the year, 10.8 tonnes of drugs have been seized by the Armed Forces in the Antilles maritime zone.

Source: The Daily Herald