1.46 tonnes of cocaine have been seized by French authorities from a yacht bound for Australia, marking the largest-ever interception of the illicit substance making its way to our shores.
All told, it’s estimated the cocaine would have had a street value of around $322 million.
As part of a collaborative effort with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, the French Navy was able to stop the yacht Afalina near New Caledonia on July 27.
Four men, believed to be Latvian and Lithuanian nationals, were detained during the operation.
Investigations are continuing into the Lithuanian syndicate who allegedly operated the shipment, and the South American organisation which supplied the drugs in the first place.
The French legal system will be handling this one, FYI. Finders keepers, we suppose.
In a statement, ACIC executive director of intelligence Col Blanch said “congratulations to the Marine Française and Gendarmerie Nationale for their efforts in relation to this record seizure of cocaine.
“We are thankful for the actions taken by French authorities which has stopped a significant amount of drugs reaching the streets of Australia.”
For what it’s worth, this cocaine seizure tops the previous record of 1.42 tonnes retrieved from a vessel off the NSW coast in February.