Beaches closed as 900kgs of cocaine washes up on French coast

Swellnet Dispatch

French police have closed beaches in southwest France as packages of cocaine and other drugs continue to wash up daily along the Atlantic coast, with nearly 900 kilograms discovered since mid-October.

Officials said the cocaine was extremely pure at some 83 per cent, warning people who find the packages not to touch them. That has not stopped some from trying to get their hands on the drugs, with a street value in the millions of euros, prompting police to close beaches and start carrying out patrols.

On Monday (local time), a 17-year-old was caught with 5kg of cocaine at Lacanau, a closed-off surfing beach near the southwestern city of Bordeaux — he had come from Toulouse, a three-hour drive away.

A half-dozen other beaches in the area have been closed as well, with police stopping walkers for searches and also checking cars leaving nearby parking lots. A police helicopter was also being used along the 125-kilometre stretch between Cap Ferret and Soulac-sur-Mer, which includes Lacanau.

A woman who gave her name as Martine failed to notice the closure signs at the Porge beach on Monday (local time), when officers told her and a friend to leave. "When we turned around we saw a package next to the water," she said, saying they alerted the police, who estimated it weighed some 4kg before sealing it in a plastic bag.

"It would have been tempting to take it, but we're honest," she said.

Philippe Astruc, the prosecutor in the western city of Rennes, where officials are coordinating the searches, said in a statement "we've recovered 872 kilos".

It was a sharp jump from just two days ago, when 763kg were reported. "Intense surveillance has been set up by different services, notably the customs agency, all along the French coast," Mr Astruc's office said.

Officials have reported the drugs turning up on beaches near Nantes all the way to the resort town of Biarritz, more than 500km to the south.

French investigators are working with European counterparts as well as the US Drug Enforcement Agency to try to determine why the drugs are washing up.

"There are several hypotheses, but for the moment we think it's likely they were jettisoned because of a mechanical problem or during a storm," Mr Astruc said.

Sud-Ouest reported over the weekend that some packages found on the beach at Arcachon, southwest of Bordeaux, were marked 'Diamante' or 'Brillante'.

Packages of cocaine marked with the same words also reportedly washed up in Florida during hurricane Dorian in September, it said.

Police seized a record of more than 140 tons of cocaine across Europe in 2017, the most recent data available from the EU's European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, published in June. Most was seized in Belgium and Spain, along the main port of entry for the drug, and its purity has increased markedly over the past 10 years, the agency said.

// AFP

Comments

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 11:49am

Sounds like a fascinating oceanographic experiment measuring the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Currents. Hopefully it yielded useful data. 

warddy's picture
warddy's picture
warddy commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 12:19pm

Poor 17 year old must have thought it was Xmas
For a short time ... 5kg... sigh

wbat's picture
wbat's picture
wbat commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 3:54pm

Yeah, that's exactly what he would have thought. Classic.

I wonder how heavy the penalty will be.

Not exactly importing is it.

warddy's picture
warddy's picture
warddy commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 6:23pm

Just cleaning shit off the beaches sir ...
Haven’t you watched Facebook lately ....
World effort

Elliedog's picture
Elliedog's picture
Elliedog commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 12:20pm

Hahahah!!!. great call Ben.

Luba

ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 12:23pm

"It would have been tempting to take it, but we're honest," she said, with 6kg of cocaine from a previously located bag secreted in her rectum.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 1:24pm

6 kilos up the clacker non, c'est impossible

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 2:26pm

No worries Mem, Kim Kardashian got busted at LAX just recently.

The TSA looked down the back of her jeans and found 10 kilos of crack.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 2:34pm

haha, gold zen

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 2:56pm

haha, gold zen again.

spenda's picture
spenda's picture
spenda commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 4:17pm

that cracked me up

regano's picture
regano's picture
regano commented Thursday, 14 Nov 2019 at 1:38pm

That's a lot of crack...

regano

Elliedog's picture
Elliedog's picture
Elliedog commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 12:27pm

Perfect for the young Entrepreneur. You gotta take your opportunities when they arise.

Luba

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 1:45pm

Why doesn’t this shit happen here?

Sad face

fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21 commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 4:11pm

It has GF. I think it was 1999. 44g drums full of coke washing up on Cape York beaches and sand cays.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 4:27pm

Sorry fitzy, I actually meant like here here, like Mornington Peninsula here. Like sneak down and get 10 kilo and be back home quicker than you can say “whose got a note?”

Lottolonglong's picture
Lottolonglong's picture
Lottolonglong commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 5:08pm

I was living in Cairns in 95 when a 44g drum got washed onto Oak beach, full of hydro marijuana!!

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 1:47pm

Adding to the list of things that can close your local: whale carcasses, oil spils, dangerous surf conditions... and now cocaine retrieval!

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 1:47pm

I was just taking 3 for the sea sorry sir..

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 1:55pm

Haha

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 2:07pm

"trois pour la mer"

Sounds much more convincing in the native tongue.

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 2:20pm

There’s been a big increase in those signing up for beach clean ups.

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 2:42pm

I'm dyslexic.
I went to search for Lard's "I want to be a drug sniffing dog" from Pure Chewing Satisfaction. Anyway, a drug sniffing god would also be ok.

Here it is.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsONzEqrr6w

Breath. Murdoch's empire will one day fail to control our minds.

web-cams-save-me-petrol's picture
web-cams-save-me-petrol's picture
web-cams-save-m... commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 4:57pm

Surfers have been complaining regularly of late regarding the increase in dropins by coke smugglers.

Clarrie

brownie48's picture
brownie48's picture
brownie48 commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 6:13pm

I remember many years ago that $50 notes were washing up in seaweed at Burleigh

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Thursday, 14 Nov 2019 at 12:46am

brownie-48 ...something to do with upwelling & cross currents.
Burleigh sifts then sorts particular payloads onto the beach.
Originally logs then odd Whale or Seal onto rocks in Nets
1930's was often stacked with seaweed & again recently...
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/tonnes-of-seaweed-w...
1960's Mine washed in but also money along whole beach.
Early 1970's More money washed up-coins & notes
tbb'n'all had coffee jars enough for everyone to scoop.
1978 Seaweed bundles
2010' Golf Balls 100's of them.
2013 tbb wrestled ashore a fully dressed scare-gull.
Complete outfit- Pants, Shirt, Cap & thongs..
Perhaps not so weird for Burleigh Point...
Tided somewhere as one, but to return as a mannequin?
2017 Choose from 100 Goggles or 150 Sunnies
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-03/hundreds-of-pairs-of-sunglasses-a...
GC Mermaids pack yer travel bag + pay for yer holiday!

PS: Cool if brownie48 could tip off on date of $50 find.

greyhound's picture
greyhound's picture
greyhound commented Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 at 9:17pm

Korean ship parked itself off Lorne 10 or so years ago. Offloaded heaps of heroin into the water as authorities approached. Or something to that effect. Washed up along the ocean rd for a week or two. I think type ship was called the Pong Sue.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 14 Nov 2019 at 6:22am
caml's picture
caml's picture
caml commented Thursday, 14 Nov 2019 at 12:56am

Early bird gets the worm no doubt

It happened at steep point / crayfish bay wa a few decades back

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Thursday, 14 Nov 2019 at 6:14am

Know of a guy who tripped over a handle of a suit case buried on a beach in vanuatu.....cant remember whether it was filled with buds or coke......buds i think cause it was back in the 70s.

simba

VicRhino's picture
VicRhino's picture
VicRhino commented Thursday, 14 Nov 2019 at 6:47pm

Seems more than Occy’s boards are buried on the French beaches

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 14 Nov 2019 at 10:28pm

Henchman: "Sorry Boss, we lost all the drugs overboard."

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo commented Friday, 15 Nov 2019 at 8:55am

Part 2: cocaine cuttlefish...

Panman's picture
Panman's picture
Panman commented Friday, 15 Nov 2019 at 6:14pm

Yeah that heroin at Lorne was North Korea government backed
It was amateur hour so no need to worry about those nukes

Stupitt's picture
Stupitt's picture
Stupitt commented Saturday, 16 Nov 2019 at 9:42pm

Might have to fly over, knock off a prawn trawler. Do a few laps.