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International drug trafficking group sentenced



​In May 2012, French Customs officers at Marck Airport near Calais, France, intercepted a large shipment of drugs being loaded onto a private microlight aircraft. The drugs consisted of approximately 63 kg of amphetamine paste and 6.2 kg of cocaine, both items with an estimated street value of EUR 1 million. Two suspects were arrested. Investigations disclosed that this shipment was not the first by these two suspects, and that the two men were involved in drug trafficking in Belgium, France and the Netherlands prior to this trip.

On the request of the French Investigating Magistrate, a joint investigation team (JIT) between France and the UK was set up with the support of Eurojust, with information provided by the Belgian and Dutch police authorities, leading to the identification of three others, two of whom were suspected of being the leaders of the criminal organisation. Drugs and money were seized in the home of one of those arrested.

The five men were sentenced in France in late 2015 for terms up to six years. In addition, all were fined by the Customs authorities. The fines ranged from EUR 100 000 to EUR 1 073 500.