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UPDATE: Saint Lucian among 5 arrested in major drug trafficking ring in Martinique

By SNO Staff

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Photo credit: RCI FM

(SNO) — A Saint Lucian national is among five individuals arrested in Martinique earlier this week in connection with a major drug trafficking ring that was dismantled on the French neighbouring island after a yearlong investigation, according to RCI FM.

Investigation into the narcotics operation was initiated in September 2017 and culminated on the night of Tuesday, December 18 with the raid of five “drug storage sites” in Fort de France, the report stated.

More than 50 kilograms of cocaine, more than 20 kilos of cannabis, a loaded pistol, ammunition, an account book, a banknote sorting machine, and several vehicles were seized during the operation.

According to the report, the operation began a year ago after authorities discovered that a  drug trafficking ring was taking place between Saint Lucia and Fort-de-France.

The report (after being translated) reads: “Monitoring operations make it possible to identify movements during 2017 and early 2018. Between October 25 and November 28, 2018, the investigators noted a revival of activity with 4 drug import operations.

“On the night of December 18th, a fifth landing is identified. Two vehicles heading towards Cap Chevalier at Saint-Anne, made a brief stop before heading immediately to Fort de France. The vehicles are seen on a first place identified as a place of storage before routing to the home of a suspect.

“A device of interpolation is immediately put in place on 4 points between the districts of Sainte-Thérèse, Dillon and Pointe des Nègres. At the home of …. at Pointe des Nègres, a loaded automatic pistol and chargers are discovered.

“Five people were arrested but only two were brought to justice because the others had only a secondary role in the case. Two people were subjected to prolonged custody. One is a 33-year-old St. Lucian citizen, already convicted of similar acts in 2009 and 2014. He is currently under national inadmissibility.

“The other is a 26-year-old man of French nationality, unemployed. It was currently the subject of only two convictions for traffic offenses.

“The two individuals acknowledged their participation and were brought before the investigating judge of JIRS on Friday. They have been indicted for the following counts: importation of narcotics in a state of law recidivism, acquisition, offer and transport of these products, criminal conspiracy, laundering of drugs, acquisition and detention without authorization Class B weapons in a meeting.”

EARLIER REPORT: Major drug trafficking ring involving Saint Lucia dismantled in Martinique, 5 arrested

(SNO) — Authorities in Martinique said they have dismantled a major drug trafficking ring following the arrest and indictment of five individuals in the French Caribbean island on Friday, Dec. 21, according to Martinique 1ere.

The individuals, who were not identified in the report, were arrested following an operation on December 18, 2018 in which 50 kilograms of cocaine, more than 20 kilos of cannabis, a semi-automatic pistol, and several vehicles were seized.

A ticket machine/sorter was also seized “which says a lot about the scale and the profits that could generate this traffic”, Public Prosecutor Renaud Gaudeul was quoted as saying by Martinique 1ere.

Describing the one-year investigation as an “interesting narcotics disbursement file”, Guadeul disclosed that this was a “traffic in narcotics between Saint Lucia and Fort-de-France and specifically the neighborhoods of Sainte-Thérèse, Dillon and to a lesser extent Pointe des Neiges”.

The investigation was initiated in September 2017 and conducted by the Departmental Directorate of Public Security. According to the report, this department does not normally investigate matters of this nature.

“The DDSP is more oriented towards street traffic, street dealings, street consumption, but it also happens that the various investigations that we are led to conduct lead us to more organized, more structured criminal organizations like this one. We have been able to dismantle this operation,” said Commissioner Mathieu Pittaco, who is also deputy director of public security in Martinique.

The five individuals were handed over to the JIRS (specialized inter-regional jurisdictions) and placed in custody, the report stated.

Major drug trafficking dismantled
This week, a large narcotics trafficking under investigation since last year has been dismantled. Major operations led to the discovery of several drug storage sites in Fort de France. Five suspects were arrested.
More than 50 kg of cocaine, more than 20 kg of cannabis herb, a loaded automatic pistol, ammunition, an account book, a banknote sorting machine and several vehicles. This is the booty of investigators working to dismantle a large drug trafficking. The catches took place on December 18th in Fort de France where storage sites had been identified.

It all started last year, in September 2017 with the identification of drug trafficking between Saint-Lucia and Fort-de-France. Monitoring operations make it possible to identify movements during 2017 and early 2018. Between October 25 and November 28, 2018, the investigators noted a revival of activity with 4 drug import operations.

On the night of December 18th, a fifth landing is identified. Two vehicles heading towards Cap Chevalier at Saint-Anne made a brief stop before heading immediately to Fort de France. The vehicles are seen on a first place identified as a place of storage before routing to the home of a suspect.

A device of interpellation is immediately put in place on 4 points between the districts of Sainte-Thérèse, Dillon and Pointe des Nègres. At the home of a mis en cause at Pointe des Nègres, a loaded automatic pistol and chargers are discovered.

Five people were arrested but only two were brought to justice because the others had only a secondary role in the case. Two people were subjected to prolonged custody. One is a 33-year-old St. Lucian citizen, already convicted of similar acts in 2009 and 2014. He is currently under national inadmissibility.

The other is a 26-year-old man of French nationality, unemployed. It was currently the subject of only two convictions for traffic offenses.

The two individuals acknowledged their participation and were brought before the investigating judge of JIRS on Friday. They have been indicted for the following counts: importation of narcotics in a state of law recidivism, acquisition, offer and transport of these products, criminal conspiracy, laundering of drugs, acquisition and detention without authorization Class B weapons in a meeting.

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