French and Dutch Police Arrested Frogmen Smuggling Cocaine Strapped to Ships

By Curious

French and the Dutch police have broken up a smuggling ring, which used torpedo-shaped containers, cargo vessels and frogmen for a few years to smuggle cocaine from South America to the largest commercial port in Europe.
Over 100 kilograms of cocaine were seized, 3 French seamen were arrested and 9 others questioned this month after a year-long investigation, a police source reported.
Drug agents got wind of the smuggling scheme last June when bemused port police fished a diver - accomplished with an underwater propulsion vehicle - out of pitch-black waters near port Fos-sur-Mer, a major oil port on France's Mediterranean coast, in the middle of the night.
The man, who was only identified as Marco, 56-year-old, was previously known to police as one suspected author of a 1992 heist, when 22 millions of euro (~$29 mln) were stolen from a branch of the Bank of France.
After letting him free, Police officers tracked Marco for a year, finally trailing him and 2 associates as they drove from southern France to the Dutch port of Rotterdam on 16th of April, 2013 in rented cars loaded with heavy diving equipment.
Marco and his associates never got to make their dive.
Before they could reach the water, police officers arrested them and seized their gear that included 2 propulsion vehicles and inflatable parachutes, which would have been used to bring heavy loads to the surface.
Bolted to the hull of a Dutch-flagged cargo vessel, which departed from Venezuela with a stop in the Dutch Caribbean, Dutch police found a rusting torpedo-shaped metal tube 2,5 meters (8,2 feet) long, stuffed with drug worth up to 7 millions of euro on the street.
The plan had likely been ongoing for years with a transatlantic trip every 6 months, the source informed.
The 3 smugglers are due to be transported back to France. And 5 of those questioned have been placed under formal investigation on suspicion of belonging to the ring. The police source also informed that the investigation was ongoing.