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3 August 2017

ACIC assisting French authorities following 1.4 tonne cocaine seizure

Vessel Afalina seized by French Navy frigate Vendemiaire.

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission is working closely with French authorities after the seizure of 1.464 tonnes of cocaine from a vessel in the South Pacific.

The drugs were seized by the French Navy on 27 July and four crew members believed to be Lithuanian and Latvian nationals were arrested.

The vessel with the cocaine on board originated in South America and was believed to be destined for Australia. The vessel has now been towed to Noumea for further investigation and testing.

The ACIC is working with a number of international partners to investigate the Lithuanian syndicate using the vessel and to identify the serious and organised crime syndicate in South America who organised the shipment.

ACIC Executive Director Intelligence Col Blanch said relationships with international partners are essential given the transnational nature of serious and organised crime.

“Congratulations to the Marine Française and Gendarmerie Nationale for their efforts in relation to this record seizure of cocaine. We are thankful for the actions taken by French authorities which has stopped a significant amount of drugs reaching the streets of Australia,” he said.

“This demonstrates the importance of international law enforcement and intelligence agencies working together to effectively target transnational criminal enterprises. The trust that is built between nations through joint operational activity is paramount to the successful fight against organised crime,” he said.

“We have recently expanded our international presence which is assisting the investigation.”

Judicial proceedings will be determined by French authorities.

Last updated
3 August 2017