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Police Seize 1.3 Tons Cocaine From Air France Jet, Dimanche Says

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Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) -- French police seized 1.3 metric tons (2,866 pounds) of pure cocaine carried on an Air France passenger plane from Caracas as well as 400 kilograms (881 pounds) transported by truck, Journal Du Dimanche reported, citing comments by prosecutors in Nanterre yesterday.

Prosecutors held a press conference in the Paris suburb, at which France’s Interior Minister Manuel Valls was present, to discuss the haul, an Interior Ministry spokesman said by phone today. He declined to confirm details reported by the newspaper, referring calls to prosecutors, who couldn’t immediately be reached.

“Air France is cooperating closely with the Interior Ministry, which has requested maximum confidentiality in this investigation,” airline spokesman Herve Erschler said by telephone today. An internal investigation is also under way, he said.

The contraband, confiscated on Sept. 11, was stored in 31 suitcases checked in by passengers who didn’t board the plane, Journal Du Dimanche reported. The second seizure was from a truck destined for Luxembourg from the eastern part of France, the newspaper said.

The drugs were seized after an investigation by French judicial police collaborating with their Spanish, British and Dutch counterparts that was under way for several weeks, according to the report.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Rothman in Toulouse at aerothman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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