French frigate seizes 2.4 tonnes of cocaine off West African coast

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The French Navy frigate Ventose has seized 2.4 tons of cocaine on a fishing boat off the coast of West Africa.

The operation took place on 21 September following an investigation by the Brazilian federal police in cooperation with the British National Crime Agency (NCA) and the American Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Supported by a Falcon 50 maritime surveillance aircraft of the French Navy detached to Dakar in Senegal and a Dauphin helicopter on board the Ventose, the frigate’s boarding team raided the flagless fishing boat at dawn on 21 September, France’s Atlantic Maritime Prefecture reported.

The operation resulted in the discovery of 2 435 kilograms of cocaine, which was taken to the Ventose to be destroyed.

The 20 meter long fishing boat had left the Brazilian coast a few days earlier and was headed to Europe.

The surveillance frigate Ventose has been engaged since mid-September in Operation Corymbe to contribute to maritime security and fight against illicit activities in the Gulf of Guinea in conjunction with France’s African and European partners.

The French Navy almost permanently deploys one or two French vessels supported by a maritime patrol aircraft in the Gulf of Guinea as part of Operation Corymbe.