‘Air Cocaine’ drug-trafficking trial starts in France


0

Two former air force pilots have gone on trial in France almost six years after 26 suitcases stashed with cocaine were found on board their plane in the Dominican Republic.

The two Frenchmen, Pascal Fauret and Bruno Odos, were arrested and sentenced in the Caribbean nation but fled to the French Antilles while on bail.

They were re-arrested after they reached the French mainland.

Seven other defendants are also facing charges over the same case.

They could face up to 30 years in jail if found guilty.

The case, which was quickly dubbed “Air Cocaine”, first hit the headlines in March 2013 when Dominican police opened the suitcases on board a Falcon jet in the resort town of Punta Cana to find them stuffed with 680kg (1,500lb) of cocaine.

The plane bound for Saint-Tropez in the south of France was grounded and the two pilots and two passengers arrested.

All four said they had had no idea the suitcases were filled with narcotics. But a Dominican judge ruled they were responsible for what was on board their plane and sentenced them to 20 years in jail.

You may also be interested in:

Veterinarian jailed for smuggling drugs in puppies

Venezuelan pirates – the new scourge of the Caribbean

Flight attendant smuggled drugs in ‘highly organised’ ring, police say

While under house arrest pending an appeal against their sentence, Fauret and Odos fled the Dominican Republic.

They reportedly escaped with the help of former French intelligence agents who spirited them to the French Antilles aboard a boat and on to a flight to Paris.

At the time of the arrest in France, their lawyer said the pilots had returned to France “not to flee justice but to seek justice”.

In 2015, a court in the Dominican Republic upheld the 20-year sentence for the two pilots and the two passengers in absentia.

The trial is expected to take seven weeks.


Like it? Share with your friends!

0

What's Your Reaction?

hate hate
0
hate
confused confused
0
confused
fail fail
0
fail
fun fun
0
fun
geeky geeky
0
geeky
love love
0
love
lol lol
0
lol
omg omg
0
omg
win win
0
win
BBC

Choose A Format
Story
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
Video
Youtube, Vimeo or Vine Embeds
List
The Classic Internet Listicles
Open List
Submit your own item and vote up for the best submission
Countdown
The Classic Internet Countdowns
Poll
Voting to make decisions or determine opinions
Ranked List
Upvote or downvote to decide the best list item
Personality quiz
Series of questions that intends to reveal something about the personality
Trivia quiz
Series of questions with right and wrong answers that intends to check knowledge
Meme
Upload your own images to make custom memes
Audio
Soundcloud or Mixcloud Embeds
Image
Photo or GIF
Gif
GIF format