Filter Articles

French Navy seizes 11 tonnes of cocaine in Gulf of Guinea

French naval forces last week intercepted a shipment of 11 tonnes of cocaine aboard a fishing vessel in the Gulf of Guinea. The location of the seizure was seen as indication that South American traffickers were turning to a West African route to get their goods to Europe.

Marine Nationale received a request from France’s national intelligence directorate and national anti-narcotics office after the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had passed on information from Brazilian federal police about a cocaine shipment in progress.

Before dawn on March 14th an unnamed French warship intercepted a Brazilian-flagged fishing vessel in the Gulf of Guinea, with the approval of the flag state. The boarding team found a total of 10,693 kilos of cocaine on board.

The warship was not named, but the Marine Nationale rotates vessels through the Gulf of Guinea to keep a constant presence of at least one ship at all times. The latest participant, patrol vessel Commandant Bouan, recently called in ports in Ghana and Togo.

These West Africa shipments were seen to be part of a well-run conveyor belt that transports cocaine from South American producing regions to Brazilian seaports, then onwards to West Africa, where it is transloaded and shipped to markets in Europe.

Brazil’s largest criminal organization, the Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC), has been using the port of Santos to traffic narcotics to Europe through West Africa for a long time, according to the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.