22 Jan 2018

Jail for cocaine three in New Caledonia

10:27 am on 22 January 2018

Three men have been sentenced to prison in New Caledonia for smuggling 578 kilogrammes of cocaine on board their yacht.

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Photo: 123RF

The captain, who is 69-year old from the Netherlands, was jailed for seven years.

The other two, a 54-year-old from Peru and a 39-year-old from Poland, were each given six year jail terms.

According to Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes, the trio was also fined more than $US25 million.

The street value of the drugs was estimated to be about $US450 million.

The yacht had raised suspicions last October when it headed towards Australia after reporting engine troubles to New Caledonia's rescue services.

However, it failed to arrive and was subsequently intercepted by the French navy.

The defence argued in the criminal court in Noumea unsuccessfully that the navy had no right to search the yacht on the high seas.