26 Aug 2008

19 people in French Polynesia stand trial in drugs smuggling case

1:35 pm on 26 August 2008

A trial has opened in French Polynesia of 19 people allegedly involved in a drug smuggling ring which was uncovered two years ago.

The trial, which is expected to take three days, has locally been dubbed the vahine connection for the roles played by women carrying methamphetamine, commonly known as ice.

In 2006, French police in Tahiti seized almost 400,000 US dollars worth of the illegal drug in a single haul at French Polynesia's international airport.

The action had not been made public immediately and resulted in several more young women being caught with the drugs on arrival from the US.

Among the suspects are a young woman and her mother who were both found to have carried the drugs.