‘Air Cocaine’ pilots sentenced to 6 years in drug smuggling trial

The two pilots arrive at court in Aix-En-ProvencePicture copyright

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Pascal Fauret (r) and Bruno Odos (c) fled the Dominican Republic after narcotics have been discovered on their airplane

Two former air power pilots have been sentenced to 6 years in jail by a French court docket after 26 suitcases stashed with cocaine have been discovered on board their airplane within the Dominican Republic.

The Frenchmen, Pascal Fauret and Bruno Odos, fled the nation following the raid and have been rearrested in France.

An extra 5 individuals have additionally been handed sentences for his or her involvement.

Ringleader Ali Bouchareb was given 18 years in jail. His confederate Frank Colin was handed a 12-year sentence.

Two others have been acquitted after the seven-week trial.

The case, dubbed “Air Cocaine” was reported in March 2013 when police within the Dominican seaside resort of Punta Cana opened suitcases on board a Falcon jet to seek out them filled with 680kg of cocaine.

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The cocaine was present in neat packages inside suitcases on board the airplane

The airplane was grounded because it was about to depart for Saint-Tropez within the south of France, and the 2 pilots and two passengers have been arrested.

However whereas on bail, Fauret and Odos fled the nation. They have been rearrested in November 2015 upon their return to the French mainland.

All 4 denied figuring out that the suitcases have been full of narcotics. Nevertheless a choose within the Dominican Republic dominated that they have been answerable for what was on board their airplane and sentenced them in absentia to 20 years in jail.

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On the time of the arrest in France, the pilots’ lawyer mentioned they’d returned to France “to not flee justice however to hunt justice”.

5 French magistrates deliberated the case for 11 hours earlier than handing down their verdict on Friday.

Family of Fauret could possibly be heard shouting “we is not going to depart you there Pascal”, Le Monde reported.

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