stluciatimes, caribbean, caribbeannews, stlucia, saintlucia, stlucianews, saintlucianews, stluciatimesnews, saintluciatimes, stlucianewsonline, saintlucianewsonline, st lucia news online, stlucia news online, loop news, loopnewsbarbados


Five In Custody In Martinique After Cocaine Bust At Sea


Five people are in custody in Martinique after the crew of the French Navy vessel Ventôse seized 1, 472 kilos of cocaine from a ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

The seizure on May 22 was the third by the Ventôse in as many weeks and occurred about 1,000 kilometres southeast of Martinique.

The Ventôse crew boarded an unflagged fishing vessel, which aircraft had located and confiscated 63 bales and four bars of cocaine.

The French law enforcement authorities arrested the five crew members on board and took them and the illegal cargo to the Martinique capital, Fort-de-France.

Indicted on drug trafficking charges on Thursday, the defendants are in prison while investigations continue.

On May 15, the Ventôse crew seized 2.4 tonnes of cocaine from a Venezuelan fishing vessel.

In partnership with other law enforcement agencies, the seizure occurred 820 miles northeast of Martinique.

PHOTO: Courtesy Force Armées aux Antilles. Story updated to correct typo to figure of 1,472 kilos. The original story stated 1,472 tonnes.

Any third-party or user posts, comments, replies, and third-party entries published on the St. Lucia Times website ( in no way convey the thoughts, sentiments or intents of St. Lucia Times, the author of any said article or post, the website, or the business. St. Lucia Times is not responsible or liable for, and does not endorse, any comments or replies posted by users and third parties, and especially the content therein and whether it is accurate. St. Lucia Times reserves the right to remove, screen, edit, or reinstate content posted by third parties on this website or any other online platform owned by St. Lucia Times (this includes the said user posts, comments, replies, and third-party entries) at our sole discretion for any reason or no reason, and without notice to you, or any user. For example, we may remove a comment or reply if we believe it violates any part of the St. Lucia Criminal Code, particularly section 313 which pertains to the offence of Libel. Except as required by law, we have no obligation to retain or provide you with copies of any content you as a user may post, or any other post or reply made by any third-party on this website or any other online platform owned by St. Lucia Times. All third-parties and users agree that this is a public forum, and we do not guarantee any confidentiality with respect to any content you as a user may post, or any other post or reply made by any third-party on this website. Any posts made and information disclosed by you is at your own risk.


  1. The seizure was 1,000 kilometers from Martinique (about 600 miles). The other seizure was 820 miles from Martinique. As I understand it, these vessels were in international waters or ‘high seas’, outside the jurisdiction of any nation. What authority did the French have to conduct those operations?
    Don’t misunderstand this as support for the drug trade: far be it. I’m just curious about the abuse of authority when one nation seizes vessels in waters outside their 200 mile limit.
    Can anybody enlighten me here?

  2. @ModestusLouis, I am not expert but I had the same wondering a few years back and I fond out a few things.

    There is something called universal jurisdiction. Certain crimes, such as piracy, slavery, and unauthorized broadcasting, are considered so serious that any state has the authority to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators, regardless of where the crime took place or the nationality of those involved. The US and Europe use this to fight pirates off the African coast and regional agreements.

    Additionally, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) allows states to board and inspect foreign vessels if there are reasonable grounds to suspect they are engaged in drug trafficking.

    I read a case of drug trafficking once where the lawyers for both sides spent hours arguing hot pursuit. That is where the French can claim they spotted the vessel in French waters and gave chase. It does not matter where the chase ends.

  3. @ modestus. Professing to be wise they become foods. Smh. The point is that they were able to prevent cocaine from getting to the streets thereby worsening the social situation. You don’t have nun constructive to say then just shut the hell up. Choopz.

  4. Well said @ theval ….you got it spot on. I will also add that the fact that it is stateless (unflagged) give a coast guard that authority to board if suspected of international crimes . There is also constructive pressence. Read the UNCLOS it will explain

  5. Take a look at the almighty tonnage recovered…1,472 tonnes is an extremely huge load. I had to read it thrice to ascertain that I read right. Quite likely, the cargo was compromised earlier on. There will be hell to pay for a loss that size. The crew had better wish for long prison sentences.

  6. I personally don’t think the numbers 1472 tons is correct might be error in the printing because as I can remember one ton equal 2000lbs so multiply this number by 2000 tells you how much weight in a fishing vessel they must have been going to supply the whole European Union

  7. In international waters are where the distractions of our human existence does take place by plying the trade. Drugs don’t sell and consume in international waters it must land at some shore, when it does it create mayhem to human beings while a fraction grew super rich in the trade. I have no quasi about which country make such arrest or finding. Also this is not a just random thing. They are IR satellite in orbit that is designed to monitor transshipment of product and obviously where the drugs are originated from are often being traced and the capabilities of which security force are able to intercept obviously is the winner. Drugs mules can suffer these lost because on the basement they are mountain of cash stash ready to repeat it in a more diverse way. This may not be a first find, many probably passed already and more on its way. It could also be a decoyed to loose with poor quality. I encourage the risk and hard work of the security force.

  8. Tell Dem stop being a jacka$$ . Hope you learnt something from the discourse that took place following his question.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Subscribe to our St. Lucia Times Newsletter

Get our headlines emailed to you every day.

Share via
Send this to a friend