The French Navy’s amphibious helicopter carrier Dixmude has seized six tons of cocaine at sea in what the French defence ministry said is a record bust.
On 21 March at 6:00 am, the crew of the Dixmude were instructed to intercept the Najlan, a cargo ship from South America, which was suspected of carrying drugs.
The boarding team included an S-100 unmanned aerial vehicle to ensure the protection and security of the team.
In their search, the boarding team recovered more than six tons of cocaine worth around one billion euros on the street.
“Finally, the success of this operation was made possible thanks to the excellent coordination of French and international actors, who participated in its development. This operation is all the more crucial as it represents the largest French seizure of drugs at sea,” the French defence ministry said.
France’s anti-drug agency, Europol and Brazilian authorities collaborated in the seizure, which is the second-largest in the region since authorities in Cape Verde found 9.6 tons of cocaine on a Panama-flagged vessel in 2019.
“It’s a great operational success which crowns all the efforts made since our departure at the beginning of February,” Captain Nicolas Rossignol, commander of the Dixmude, said.
Since 1990, France has deployed one or two vessels on a Corymbe mission almost permanently in the Gulf of Guinea, in particular to help reduce maritime insecurity, by helping to build the capacities of navies bordering the Gulf.