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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Seizure of 1,100kg of cocaine on Jersey-registered vessel in the Caribbean

04 April 2024

On 26 February 2024 Jersey’s Attorney General, Mark Temple KC, was approached by French authorities carrying out anti-drugs smuggling patrols in the Caribbean, for permission to search a Jersey-registered vessel, Maria Del Mar, approximately two hundred miles south of Barbados. 

With assistance from the Jersey Customs and Immigration Service, permission was granted by the Attorney General under Article 11C of the Misuse of Drugs (Jersey) Law 1978 which provides jurisdiction in respect of offences on ships. Article 11C of the 1978 Law reflects Article 17 of the United Nations Convention against the Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988 (the ‘Vienna Convention’) which Jersey chose to have extended to it in 1997. 

Upon boarding the vessel the same day, the French authorities discovered 1,100kg of cocaine. 

All four persons on board were arrested: three Spanish nationals and one Colombian national, and all are now in custody in the French Département et Région d'Outre-Mer of Martinique. 

The Attorney General received a message of thanks from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs for his prompt assistance leading to the successful conclusion of the operation and expressing the wish that the cooperation between the British and French services in the fight against drug trafficking continues and develops. 

Attorney General Mark Temple KC said: “Jersey is keen to play its part in combatting illicit drug trafficking, wherever it takes place. We congratulate the French authorities on this successful operation and confirm that we will continue to assist them. The drugs in this case would have done enormous damage had they reached their intended markets.”​

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