PARIS (AP) — Seashells, seaweed — and nearly a ton of cocaine. That’s what French maritime police found on a beach on the English Channel this week.
Police are investigating where the drugs came from and how they ended up on the shores of the town of Reville on the Cotentin Peninsula on Sunday, according to France’s maritime authority for the English Channel and North Sea.
The cocaine, weighing about 850 kilograms (1,875 pounds) in total, was found in two large packages linked by a rope, the administration said Tuesday.
While packages of drugs wash up once or twice a year on beaches in the region, the administration said they had never seen such a large quantity.
Police are trying to determine whether the drugs fell from a ship or were intentionally floated to the shore for traffickers to pick up.
A surge in cocaine and crack supplies has been hitting Europe hard, along with unprecedented drug violence in some areas. The North Sea port cities of Antwerp in Belgium and Rotterdam in the Netherlands have become the main gateway for Latin American cocaine cartels into Europe.