It is a record seizure.
4.2 tonnes of cannabis resin packaged in 134 bales were seized on the high seas from a fishing vessel in the southern Mediterranean last week by French customs services.
The narcotics were transported to France on September 16 and were then cremated the next day by decision of the public prosecutor of Toulon, according to the customs coast guard service (SGCD).
As part of an operation to combat drug trafficking under the coordination of the Mediterranean maritime prefect, the Mediterranean customs coastguard service (SGCD) deployed, from September 10 to 17, 2021, to important means of maritime surveillance in the southern Mediterranean explains a press release.
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The DFP3 coast guard patroller "Jean-François Deniau" from Toulon / La Seyne-sur-Mer supported by a Beechcraft KA350 ER aircraft from the air and sea surveillance brigade of Hyères customs were thus engaged in order to locate any vessels. engaging in illicit trafficking and then being able to control it.
A fishing vessel with no visible exterior markings on the hull
These customs resources were conducted in real time by the maritime customs operational center (CODM) in Marseille, in close liaison with the Mediterranean operations center (COM) of the maritime prefect in Toulon.
Each vessel targeted by the crew of the customs aircraft was subject to a joint analysis by customs and the French Navy, in order to have all the information available.
On September 13, the crew of the customs plane spotted a fishing vessel without any visible external mark on the hull and whose route and activity did not appear to correspond to normal fishing activity in this area.
After analyzing the photographs taken by the customs plane, the patroller "Jean-François Deniau" is then authorized to pursue and intercept the fishing vessel.
The in-depth search of the fishing vessel led to the discovery of a cavity hidden behind a partition containing "Moroccan suitcases" of cannabis resin.
The complete exploration of the arranged cache resulted in the seizure.
The entire operation was praised by Olivier Dussopt, Minister Delegate in charge of Public Accounts,