If the Pays-de-la-Loire region, far from the land borders, does not have the reputation of being a stronghold of cocaine transfers, customs seizures are however on the rise there. After a year 2021 already marked by a strong business growthno less than 434 kg of cocaine were intercepted in 2022 in Pays-de-la-Loire, i.e. 15% more than the previous year, the regional customs department announced on Wednesday.
This increase is mainly explained by the “exceptional” seizure of 364 kg at the port of Saint-Nazaire-Montoir-de-Bretagne in May. The goods, which came from Martinique, were hidden in a container housing industrial waste. Three months earlier, 50 kg of white powder had already been discovered in a refrigerated container in the port of Montoir.
A mobile scanner in 2024
“We know that our interventions only represent part of the traffic that manages to pass. All French ports are affected. This is a problem that we take very seriously”, indicates Michel Marin, regional director of customs. To enhance the effectiveness of controls, a mobile scanner, as already found in the largest European ports, will equip the port of Montoir in 2024. The road network is also under vigilance: 17 mules carrying drugs in their bodies or their luggage was arrested in 2022.
In addition to cocaine, seizures of cannabis and heroin are stable in Pays-de-la-Loire. Those of contraband tobacco are on the rise.