It takes a lot to shock on a French beach, where topless sunbathing is the norm.
But giant bricks of cocaine littering the beaches has managed to raise a few eyebrows.
Packages of “very pure” cocaine and other drugs have been washing up on France’s southwestern shores over the past several weeks, the Guardian reports. The drug parcels — wrapped in clear or black plastic and labeled “diamante” or “brillante” — have been plaguing a 310-mile or so strip of the country’s Atlantic coast, stretching from the regions Loire-Atlantique (which includes Nantes) to Landes (near the Spanish border).
New bundles are appearing daily. So far, about 1,675 pounds of the dangerous substances — valued in excess of $66 million — have surfaced on French shores. On Sunday alone, 30 pounds of drug packages were found in Pornic, a beach town about an hour’s drive from Nantes.
French authorities believe that the drugs “very probably” originated in South America, and are investigating the possibility that a drug trafficker’s boat sank in the ocean.
In the meantime, French police are urging beachgoers not to touch any of the packages, and to report them immediately to the authorities.
“It’s a very pure product that must not be consumed in this form because there is a very high risk of overdose,” Philippe Astruc, a public prosecutor from the French town of Rennes, told France 2. “There is absolutely an immediate health risk.”
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