Long jail terms expected for French Polynesia drug offenders

2:10 pm on 27 January 2017

The prosecutor in French Polynesia says the four men caught with large quantities of cocaine on two yachts this past week could face jail terms of up to 30 years.

Generic cocaine, drugs

Photo: AFP

The of them were arrested off the Marquesas Islands and two in Tahiti after being stopped with a total of 1438 kilograms of cocaine which is reportedly worth about $US57 million.

The prosecutor Herve Leroy said for the South Pacific the haul was unprecedented in its size and showed that French Polynesia was a transit area for drugs sent to Australia and New Zealand.

The four were being held in Papeete but may be transferred to France within the next few days if the case is referred to the specialised interregional French jurisdiction.

One of the accused is French, one Panamanian and two are Spanish.

Reports said both yachts were owned by a Frenchman.

In recent years, there have been several seizures of hundreds of kilograms of cocaine in French Polynesia.

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