France seizes 1.4 tons of cocaine

2014-02-22 07:55
1.4 tons of cocaine that was seized by French police in the port of Le Havre. (Julian Colling, AFP)

1.4 tons of cocaine that was seized by French police in the port of Le Havre. (Julian Colling, AFP)

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Paris - French police said on Friday they had seized a record 1.4 tons of cocaine and four people had been arrested in a "severe blow" to an international drug trafficking chain.

French police sources said the drugs were seized on Wednesday at the northern port of Le Havre and were hidden in tyres on a cargo ship from Valparaiso in Chile.

Two Spaniards were arrested in France after the seizure, which came after a "long and thorough" investigation, police said.

Two Bulgarians, believed to be organisers of the trafficking, were also arrested by local police in the eastern Varna province. More arrests were also expected in Spain.

Police said the seized cocaine had a street value of about $370m.

Interior minister Manuel Valls was to make a statement on the case later on Friday.

The previous record cocaine haul in France was the seizure in September of 1.3 tons of the drug, hidden in 30 suitcases, from an Air France flight from Venezuela.

More than 20 people, including an Air France employee in Caracas, were jailed in that case.

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