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Record 1.3 Tonne Cocaine Haul Seized On Air France Plane To Paris

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/record-13-tonne-cocaine-haul-seized-on-air-france-plane-to-paris-8833001.html

French police have seized a record haul of 1.3 tonnes of pure cocaine, stored in 31 suitcases in the hold of an Air France flight to Paris from Venezuela. Not one was registered to a real passenger.

The drugs, which had a street value of €200m, were reportedly destined for the Calabrian Mafia known as the ‘Ndrangheta. The Italian criminal organisation is reputed to control 80 per cent of the cocaine exported from Latin America to Europe, after moving into drug trafficking in the 1970s.

The French police, cooperating with British, Spanish and Dutch colleagues, arrested several people last Friday when they confiscated 900 kilos of cocaine at Charles de Gaulle airport. A further 400 kilos were found inside a lorry heading from Paris to Luxembourg after arriving from Venezuela. Together, it was the biggest ever drugs haul on French soil.

The arrests came after weeks of investigation. All of the colourful 31 suitcases containing the drugs which were checked in for the Caracas to Paris Air France flight were registered to fictitious passengers. The suspects, of various nationalities, were still being questioned on Sunday on charges of belonging to an international drugs smuggling ring. Police will be trying to establish whether the traffickers were working with airline or airport insiders.

Did the authorities allow the drugs to fly? It does raise an intriguing question about how many times luggage like this does fly without belonging to anyone.

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Did the authorities allow the drugs to fly? It does raise an intriguing question about how many times luggage like this does fly without belonging to anyone.

They must have done.

Presumably these suitcases were checked through the embarkation formalities as freight rather than passengers' checked baggage, because for the former, either the passenger has to be on board with his/her checked bag, or there has to be a logged, signed-off and legitimate reason why the passenger isn't (e.g. a suitcase failed to be loaded with its owner initially and is now being sent on a later flight).

What this says to me is that there are serious security breaches in the baggage handling systems both at Caracas and CDG (because the smugglers must have had a plan in place for retrieving the drugs at CDG, circumventing customs inspections as they did so), and that every other country in the world that cares about its security should ban flights originating at these two airports from entering their airspace until the Venezuelan and French authorities can show that the problems have been fixed. It was drugs this time, but a bomb could have been put on the plane using the same method.

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They must have done.

Presumably these suitcases were checked through the embarkation formalities as freight rather than passengers' checked baggage, because for the former, either the passenger has to be on board with his/her checked bag, or there has to be a logged, signed-off and legitimate reason why the passenger isn't (e.g. a suitcase failed to be loaded with its owner initially and is now being sent on a later flight).

What this says to me is that there are serious security breaches in the baggage handling systems both at Caracas and CDG (because the smugglers must have had a plan in place for retrieving the drugs at CDG, circumventing customs inspections as they did so), and that every other country in the world that cares about its security should ban flights originating at these two airports from entering their airspace until the Venezuelan and French authorities can show that the problems have been fixed. It was drugs this time, but a bomb could have been put on the plane using the same method.

No one should mention the real security risk is internal, in ANY organisation, let alone a security one. We will still naked body scan, xray and strip search passengers for their own safety.

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No one should mention the real security risk in internal, in ANY organisation, let alone a security one. We will still naked body scan, xray and strip search passengers for their own safety.

Shoppers next.

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a little slip up at the collection end of the operation

will have cost someone dearly

I am of the opinion that this isn't an isolated incident, just that it is one that has been interrupted for some reason

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I think there are probably plenty of opportunities in this field.

I know someone who works at an airport near me, manual-type role.

Er, his lifestyle doesn't appear to match what one might expect his income to be. Wages half mine, lifestyle about double mine.

Just sayin....

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It's good that nobody tried to smuggle this in a "false pregnancy"! :blink:

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