UPDATED 4:42 p.m.: Police have detained a 68-year-old French national who was yesterday on board a pleasure boat containing 109.6 kilogrammes of cocaine valued at EC$2.7 million.
Police said Roger Tinaud was the lone occupant aboard the vessel, named Tagora, when it was intercepted yesterday, Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 2:30 p.m. in Rodney Bay by an intelligence-led police team made up of “all operational units” , Assistant Commissioner of Police Frances Henry told reporters at a press briefing this afternoon.
Henry said the operation was targeting the northern area of the island.
The senior police said the vessel, which was berthed in the general Rodney Bay area, was intercepted and boarded by the officers who carried out an “extensive and thorough” search. She said the officers “stumbled” upon a compartment in the boat believed to be a “new fabrication”.
She said 100 packages of cocaine wrapped in plastic was discovered when the compartment was opened.
The vessel has been seized. Tinaud will remain in custody until further investigations.
Despite the recognition that St. Lucia has “very porous borders”, Henry said yesterday’s drug bust, regarded as one of the largest ever in the country, is an indication that the Royal St. Lucia Police Force will “pursue every avenue of the criminal underworld” – a pursuit which is not restricted to land-based operations.
Henry said the police force is committed to keeping St. Lucia safe.