In the northern French port of Dunkirk, the crew of a cargo ship was held hostage for hours by a group of armed men during the night from Sunday to Monday. On 1 October 1,127 kilos of cocaine (photo) had been found by Customs in the cargo hold of the ship. According to French media, a dozen people boarded the plane at night and began to mistreat crew members. The ship was chained in connection with the drug discovery.

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An anonymous police source told AFP news agency that “the likely purpose was to collect drugs and money.” The group is said to have left ’empty-handed’ around 5 am. Some crew members were ‘tied up’. The source goes on to say that the group was “violent and threatening.” It is unclear to what extent they were armed. In any case, there were wooden sticks. Some crew members were slightly injured.

The group is said to have searched the ship, accompanied by the captain, but did not take anything with them. The men spoke French but better English. When the Gendarmerie arrived on the scene, the members of the criminal command managed to escape. No arrests have been made.


The merchant ship “Trudy” sails under the Liberian flag. It had arrived in Dunkirk from Brazil, after a stopover in Spain. The final destination was the port of Antwerp where a load of chalk had to be unloaded. The original crew was no longer on board. The nineteen are suspected of drug smuggling, fifteen of them are still in custody. They have Russian, Ukrainian, Egyptian and Ethiopian nationality.

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