French arrest ‘passengers’ smuggling 95kg of cocaine on Costa cruise

French arrest 'passengers' smuggling 95kg of cocaine on Costa cruise
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French authorities recently arrested four individuals who posed as tourists on a Costa Cruises ship, but were actually hired by Brazilian drug smugglers to transport large quantities of cocaine. The couple who drew attention to themselves were carrying a suspiciously large suitcase and fled back to the ship upon noticing authorities conducting a bag search. After the woman was found to have thrown a backpack filled with 8.4kg of cocaine overboard, French police uncovered additional information leading them to two cabins on the ship. Authorities discovered a further 86.4kg of cocaine under one of the beds, while two other passengers attempting to disembark were eventually caught with more drugs that had been left at an Airbnb.
The Costa Favolosa, which can carry over 4,800 passengers, left Savona, Italy, in April and was bound for Morocco before making a stop in the French port of Marseille where the arrests were made. Taking advantage of the end-of-season cruises from Brazil to Europe, Brazilian drug cartels have used such voyages to transport cocaine, with 95kg of the drug seized in this latest incident. Last year 10 passengers were arrested on board the MSC Seaside in Spain with 54kg of cocaine, and six passengers attempting to board the Costa Diadema in Brazil were arrested while carrying 30kg of the drug.
Costa Cruises confirmed that a number of passengers were arrested on board the ship for smuggling illegal substances. Individual cruise lines may use a variety of measures to reduce the likelihood of drug smuggling on board, such as CCTV, sniffer dogs, and passenger luggage searches, but drug cartels have increasingly used large cruise ships to smuggle drugs by taking advantage of the vast numbers of passengers on board. Cruise chip companies are helping authorities in their investigations into drug smuggling by providing them with information.

Tags: Costa,passengers,smuggling,cocaine,arrested,cruise,Brazil


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