French police are doing an extraordinary job stopping drug shipments from Venezuela:
Today’s headline: Spanish and French police seize 3.5 metric tons of cocaine, arrest 11
MADRID, Spain Spanish and French police staging a joint operation seized 3.5 metric tons (3.9 U.S. tons) of cocaine in a sailboat off the Canary Islands and arrested 11 people, authorities said Friday.
Officials said the cocaine was shipped from Venezuela and had a street value estimated at 350 million euros (US$450 million).
Saisie record de cocaïne aux Canaries (Record cocaine seizure off the Canary Islands. Article in French: my translation)
This record amount seized of “very pure” drug, with an estimated value of 200 million euros, was carried out thanks to the Franco-Spanish co-operation which made it possible to dismantle a “important network” between Europe and Latin America.
. . .
Earlier this summer, the joint Franco-Spanish investigation determined that the traffickers were about to leave for Venezuela, some by boat, some by plane.
Last March I posted that
A group of French policemen busted a large container ship in the high seas, seizing the ship and 18 tons of cocaine. The policemen arrived at the ship by means of inflatable motor boats and a helicopter, and took charge of the ship and its crew shortly after.
. . .
The ship, which had left Havana and was loaded in Caracas, was on its way to the EU
The France2 broadcast tonight said that the European cocaine trade is estimated to be over 200 tons, so if you add both busts, it comes to an astonishing 10% of that amount, with both shipments originating from Venezuela.
It is significant that the drugs came via Venezuela, because the Colombian army has long alleged that Venezuela’s socialist president, Hugo Chavez, is sympathetic to the Marxist rebels.
Last June I linked to an article in Janes’ Intelligence Review titled (PDF file) South American cocaine trafficking operations shift towards Venezuela (via Venezuela Today):
- Cocaine seizures in Venezuela in the past two years have increased tenfold over 1990s levels, indicating its growing statues as a trasit country.
- Several Colombian cartel bosses are believed to have relocated to Venezuela to escape law enforcement pressure in Colombia.
- Allegations of corruption and complicity in drug trafficking among some Venezuelan military personnel reflect the potential for narcotics revenue to corrupt state officials
Continental revolutions are extremely costly enterprises, and, as Aleksander Boyd said last April,
it is argued that +80% of the cocaine produced in neighbouring Colombia and the region enters the international markets via Venezuela, as heretofore unseen quantities have been seized in various countries.
The French are on the trail, and they’re doing an excellent job.
READ ALSO Aleksander Boyd’s article The Venezuela Connection, in last April’s Real Clear Politics.
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