French police are investigating the reoccurring appearance of packages of "very pure" cocaine washing up on the shores of beaches along the Atlantic coast, The Guardian reports.
On Sunday, a new batch of about 31 pounds of cocaine appeared on the Pornic shore in western France, bringing the total amount in recent weeks to more than 1,600 pounds of the drug, which Rennes prosecutor Philippe Astruc estimates to be worth $66 million.
People in France have been instructed to not pick up or move any of the packages that wash ashore because they could face trafficking laws which carries a possible 10-year prison sentence. There’s also the general concern that taking this cocaine could prove to be fatal given the high quality nature of the drug. “It’s a very pure product that must not be consumed in this form because there is a very high risk of overdose," Astruc said. "There is absolutely an immediate health risk."
It is believed that some of the packages found by locals were marked with “diamante” or “brillante,” which is a similar discovery made from the bricks of cocaine that washed up on two different beaches in Florida in September following Hurricane Dorian.
French police have reached out to authorities in Florida to gather intel in their investigation. Police wonder if the recently found plastic-wrapped bundles were the result of a storm that came into contact with a boat being used by drug traffickers or from the emergency disposal of cargo.
Astruc suspects that the packages containing cocaine “very probably” came from South America.