330 Pounds of Cocaine Smuggled in Ballet Shoes from Dom Rep
French police seized 330 pounds of cocaine hidden in ballet shoes in an eastern Paris apartment today. The drug was smuggled into France by citizens of the Dominican Republic. The ballet shoes arrived at the Charles de Gaulle airport last week, and four Dominicans were arrested on sight after receiving a tip about the shipment's arrival.

It took police almost a week, however, to track down the whereabouts of the smuggled cocaine. When police seized the shipment, they estimated its value at 10 million euros, which is approximately $14 million.


Drug Smuggling Routes

The Dominican Republic has recently become a major hub for drug smuggling into the U.S. and Western Europe. Authorities in Mexico and Colombia have been cracking down on drug trading and exports on their turf, and the border between the U.S. and Mexico has become increasingly difficult to penetrate. As a result, the Caribbean, and particularly the Dominican Republic, has emerged as a key player in drug smuggling operations. While only about 10 percent of U.S. cocaine imports come from the Dominican Republic, nearly 40 percent of the European market is supplied by Caribbean passageways.

Cocaine seizures have more than doubled in the past 10 years, which could be a result of increased and more sophisticated security measures. Or, it could simply be the result of a proportionate increase in operations due to skyrocketing demand. Regardless of the reason, authorities will always have their work cut out for them. When a cartel gets dismantled in one area, it simply reassembles in a new area. That location is now the Caribbean.


Ballet Shoes as Cocaine Conduits

Ballet shoes are an unusual hiding spot for drug smugglers. Though cocaine and ballet dancers are frequently linked together in drug abuse stories, ballet shoes are not an obvious choice for sneaking drugs into France, and it's unknown why the smugglers made this type of vessel selection. It's assumed that the ballet shoes would be discarded after the drug transaction. If the ballet shoes had actually been distributed to a ballet company, trace amounts of cocaine could theoretically absorb into the dancers' bodies, which would make them likely to receive a positive on a drug test.

Source: http://news.gather.com


Dominican Watchdog Note: This is pretty interesting story when one take into account that not a single invention has ever been made or sold to the world from the Dominican Republic. Maybe they finally, with help from the drug cartels and Leonels corrupt military/police, found a business to specialize and compete in. Welcome to Little Mexico (soon formerly known as The Dominican Republic).

Go back | Date: 02 Sep 2011
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