The French navy claims to have made its biggest marijuana seizure ever after nabbing a Tanzanian-flagged ship carrying 20 tons of marijuana in international waters. French customs officers claim the market value of the pot is between 40 and 50 million euros ($53-66 million).
Acting with permission from Tanzania, the French intercepted the Luna-S on September 8 between Italy and Algeria in the Mediterranean. The ship had departed from Morocco and was bound for Egypt. When the ship’s crew realized they were under siege, they set the cannabis cargo ablaze, destroying half of it and creating an epic smoke-out. The Luna-S was towed to the port city of Toulon, where French authorities arrested the eight Syrian crewmembers. The men face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
If this incident sounds familiar, it’s because it came just two days after another Tanzanian-flagged ship, the Gold Star, was set on fire while carrying an estimated 30 tons of hash in the Mediterranean. The crewmembers dived overboard and were picked up by Italian police vessels.