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Cocaine stash worth $270m found on Air France plane in Paris

Police found 1.3 tonnes of cocaine on an Air France cargo flight from Venezuela that has a street value of about $270 million.

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French Interior minister Manuel Valls talks to journalists in front of cocaine seized by French police, on September 21, 2013 in Nanterre, France. Valls announced 1.3 tonnes of pure cocaine was found on board an Air France cargo plane. A source close to the investigation said the flight had originated in the Venezuelan capital Caracas, adding that the haul had a street value of some 200 million euros ($270 million). (KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)

French police made one of the biggest cocaine busts in history earlier this month when 1.3 tonnes of the drug was found aboard an Air France cargo flight in Paris.

The stash of pure cocaine was found stuffed into 30 suitcases aboard the cargo plane at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced Saturday.

The discovery was made on September 11 but not revealed until now.

A source close to the investigation told Agence France-Presse the flight had originated in the Venezuelan capital Caracas, adding that the haul had a street value of some 200 million euros ($270 million).

Valls said it was the biggest drug haul ever made in the Paris area and that four tons of cocainehave been seized in France since the start of the year.

Six people were arrested in the bust and are thought to be members of an international drug smuggling ring.

One of the world's top cocaine smugglers, Roberto Pannunzi, was arrested in Julyand extradited from Columbia to Italy.

Pannuzi was thought to be the most powerful link between drug cartels in South America and the Italian mafia, bringing cocaine shipments of 3,000 kilos at a time into Europe.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/france/130921/cocaine-stash-worth-270m-found-air-france-plane-paris