Two members of the Spanish Epsilon Team were arrested last week after police found cocaine hidden inside one of the trucks as it returned from the all-terrain race held last month in South America, police said Saturday.
The cocaine was wrapped tightly in plastic and placed inside the large radial tyres in one of the trucks that was used for logistical purposes at the Dakar Rally, which this year passed through Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. The team offers assistance to drivers and technical advice to drivers competing in the Dakar Rally.
Three Spaniards believed to be ringleaders arrested
The 8×8 all-terrain vehicle had arrived at the northern French port of Le Havre from Valparaiso, Chile on Wednesday. Hours later, three Spaniards and two Bulgarians, the alleged ringleaders of the drug gang, were arrested.
According to officials in Paris, the seizure of 1.393 tons of cocaine is one of the largest finds of the drug in recent years.
Anti-drug officials in France believe that the cocaine came from supplies in Bolivia and Colombia.
More arrests imminent
Five people have been arrested so far in the ongoing investigation.
Sources close to the investigation said that the truck driver, Xavi Mora, was arrested near Normandy along with another man, only identified as J. B.
Team coordinator David Olivares was detained at his home in Barcelona.
The two Bulgarians were arrested in their country and French authorities expect more arrests in other countries in the coming days.