In the court of Marseilles began the trial of the unprecedented drug trafficking. Criminals used as vehicles ocean liners, while they themselves were disguised as tourists. Developed criminal scheme linked three continents.
Criminal penalties facing 34 drug mules who in the period from early 2012 to late 2013 used the ships of the cruise company Costa to smuggle drugs. The attackers had set Moroccan hashish in Brazil, and in return received 97 percent cocaine. The drug they sent tourist ships to Europe, writes The Local.
According to investigators, drug dealers made 13 flights under the guise of tourists. Prohibited substances they were hiding under the clothes, fastening packages of drugs to their bodies.
“We tried by an international smuggling ring that operated between three continents and used cruise ships. This is something new (criminal history),” said judge Patrick Ardid.
The majority of the defendants performed the role of conventional couriers. By origin they come from the lower social strata, living in the vicinity of nice. It is assumed that the sentence the accused will be sentenced next month.
To get on the trail of the criminal group managed as part of the investigation of the murder committed in 2013. Moreover, the French investigators were helped by their Spanish counterparts.
In March 2014 a group of Spanish and French security forces, working under cover, boarded the cruise liner Costa Fascinosa, coming from the coast of Brazil to the Italian Venice. After gathering the necessary information, the investigators proceeded to the final part of the RAID. When the cruiser approached the Canary Islands, most suspected members of the drug mafia were arrested. Also, the law enforcement seized 25 kilograms of cocaine.
It is also known that aid in the investigation were the members of team ships. They seemed suspicious that young people sail on comfortable ships without their grandparents. This behavior seemed odd given the fact that usually this kind of vacation are attracted by older people, not young people.
As noted by the French press, in recent years cruise liners are increasingly used to smuggle drugs, and this is hardly something unique. In many European ports, the police deliberately identifies suspicious persons among the passengers of ocean liners coming into the harbour.
The drug even has its own “Titanic”. On 13 January 2012 off the coast of Tuscany sank the Costa Concordia. In a shipwreck killed 32 people. All on Board were more than 4.2 thousand people, including 111 Russian citizens.
According to the Italian press, on Board the Costa Concordia was a large shipment of cocaine, allegedly belonging to an influential Calabrian mafia group the ‘ ndrangheta, which specializiruetsya on the drug trade.