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3 Britons held in €200m cocaine raid

Police seize 1.3tonnes of drug which arrived on Air France flight from Venezuela

THREE Britons have been arrested after 1.3 tonnes of cocaine was found on an Air France flight from Caracas in Venezuela to Paris.

Venezuelan prosecutors said three Britons and three Italians had been arrested in Paris while in Caracas three airport National Guard officers had also been arrested and accused of involvement in the smuggling operation.

The cocaine, with a street value of up to €200million, was found in around 30 suitcases in the Air France freight jet and the airline has started an internal inquiry as the cases were not in the names of any Air France passengers.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls said that members of the drug gang had been arrested on Friday but the actual discovery of the drugs happened earlier.

He said: "This marks the biggest seizure of cocaine ever made in mainland France as part of a judicial investigation."

The long-running investigation which involved police in France, Britain, Spain and Holland, saw 900kg of cocaine seized at Paris Charles de Gaulle and a further 400kg on a lorry heading from the airport to Luxembourg.

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