MONTREAL – Two Quebec males remained in a Martinique jail Friday after a sailboat, brimming with cocaine, was set ablaze on open water earlier this month in what authorities say was a determined try and destroy proof.
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The huge quantity of cocaine seized on the vessel within the Caribbean Sea was most definitely destined for Canada, mentioned French authorities.
Compelling video taken by French customs brokers present the boat on fireplace and officers making an attempt to douse the flames in uneven water.
“The investigation is ongoing below the supervision of a choose, and one of many fundamental strands is to liaise with Canadian authorities,” Jean-Damien Moustier, the senior French officer in control of drug enforcement in Martinique, mentioned in an interview.
Moustier mentioned the cocaine was probably coming from Venezuela, the place a lot of the intercepted product within the space originates.
The ultimate port of name for the boat, which was clearly affixed with a Fleur-de-lis, was not unsure.
“The vacation spot of the medicine was the Canadian market,” he mentioned.
Moustier cited French legal guidelines in declining to call the suspects, however Le Journal de Montreal recognized them earlier this week as males of their 50s from the Riviere-du-Loup space, about 200 kilometres northeast of Quebec Metropolis.
The operation started July 18 when customs officers, the regional coast guard and the French frigate Germinal have been dispatched to intercept a sailboat they suspected was getting used to site visitors medicine.
They caught up with the vessel on the night of July 19, however tough waters prevented the customs officers from getting shut sufficient to safe it.
They mentioned the occupants agreed to comply with customs officers to the island of Saint Martin the subsequent day, solely to desert the boat the subsequent morning.
The vessel was set on fireplace and the skipper and one other occupant took refuge in a life-raft.
The fireplace was rapidly introduced below management and authorities say they managed to salvage some 1,506 kilograms of cocaine in bundles whereas detaining the 2 Canadian suspects.
Moustier described the seizure as an distinctive haul.
The lads appeared in court docket Tuesday and have been ordered detained by a choose in Fort-de-France.