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Cocaine bags continue to be found washed-up on beaches in Normandy

In the space of just four days, hundreds of kilograms of the drug have been discovered in hermetically-sealed bags

The second set of bags was discovered a few days after the first, with police advising that any possible future discoveries should be reported immediately Pic: Obatala-photography / Shutterstock

More bags of cocaine have been found washed up on beaches in Normandy, say local authorities. 

The latest discoveries were made on March 1 at Néville-sur-Mer and La Hague, situated on the  département’s northern coastline, either side of Cherbourg-en-Cotentin.

Around 1.5 tonnes of the drug has been found in sealed bags over the past few days, according to regional newspaper Ouest-France.

It comes just four days after hermetically-sealed bags containing cocaine were discovered washed up on Réville beach on Sunday February 26.

Sunday’s haul weighed around 850kg, according to the local prefecture. 

The prefecture said that authorities – including the maritime police – were investigating, and were also in contact with their UK counterparts. 

Helicopters have been circulating in recent days to check for more bags.

In a statement, the Préfecture Maritime said that if anyone sees any suspicious packages on the beach, they should immediately inform the gendarmerie on number 17 or 112). Any packages in the water should be reported to the Cross (196).

Read also: Legalise cannabis, say advisors to French state

‘Historic’ drug seizures in 2022

It comes after France’s interior minister announced that more than 156 tonnes of drugs were seized in the country last year.

Gérald Darmanin made the revelation as part of his annual report on the fight against drugs, alongside Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti, and Public Accounts Minister Gabriel Attal.

Darmanin said the drugs seized consisted of:

  • Cannabis: 128 tonnes (up 15% compared to 2021)
  • Cocaine: 27 tonnes (up 5%)
  • Heroin: 1.4 tonnes (up 8%)
  • Synthetics: 273 kilos (21%)

Mr Darmanin also said that 37,510 drug traffickers had been arrested in 2022 — a 5% rise compared to 2021.

Almost half of the cocaine seized came from the Antilles and French Guiana, he said. Mr Attal announced that a “historic” amount of cocaine had been seized at the port of Le Havre on February 19. “We must avoid this white tsunami from reaching our coasts,” he said.

All flights from Cayenne towards Paris are the subject of extra drug checks, Mr Darmanin added. These checks had “allowed us to intercept 170 mules and to stop more than 4,000 people from boarding the plane”, he said.

The minister also said that a “specific anti-drug office” is being set up at Le Havre, with 25 police officers dedicated to “fighting these [drug] networks”.

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