Four arrested in "Air Cocaine" investigation

BAMAKO Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:51am EDT

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BAMAKO (Reuters) - Authorities in Mali have arrested four people after an aircraft loaded with 10 tonnes of cocaine crashed in the country in 2009, a source close to the probe said Thursday.

Malian authorities suspect the aircraft was part of a larger drugs trafficking network linked to Colombia.

French pilot Eric Vernay, whose company chartered the Boeing plane, was arrested last week. A CEO of a local company "Go Voyage," and two other people have been arrested since, also in connection with the so-called "Air Cocaine" probe.

"The investigation is progressing, due to good cooperation between security services of other countries, including Morocco. Four people are now under arrest, and are under investigation," the source told Reuters.

Authorities suspect a growing fleet of rogue aircraft are regularly crisscrossing the Atlantic Ocean with drugs from the cocaine-producing areas of South America, transiting through some of West Africa's most unstable countries into Europe.

(Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; Writing by Bate Felix)

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Comments (2)
WRL wrote:
Cocaine by the ton. That’s absolutely mind-blowing.

Mar 24, 2011 2:24pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Alfred.Brock wrote:
Boeing airplanes – rogue flights – entire giant cargo planes just flying around and crossing the Atlantic unchallenged and loaded with poison and making billions of dollars for those involved. Free trade? Government corruption? International intrigue or international lies?

Mar 28, 2011 7:24am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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