Quebecers arrested after setting fire to their ship containing 1506 kg of cocaine in the West Indies
Two Quebecers fired their sailboat in the open sea after their interception by the French Navy a week ago, hoping that the $ 100 million in cocaine they hid on board go up in smoke.
The desperate attempt by 55-year-old Langis Bélanger and 53-year-old Martin Lepage went down the drain as law enforcement officers managed to extinguish the flames, save the boat’s hull, and pull out a ton of it. half of “coke,” learned our Investigation Bureau.
In hot water, Bélanger and Lepage, both of whom live in the Rivière-du-Loup area of Bas-Saint-Laurent, have been imprisoned in Martinique since this incredible affair.
“This is an important decision,” argued the Journal Commissioner John Damien Moustier, in charge of the investigation.
According to our sources, the two Quebecers arrived from Venezuela with their impressive cargo of white powder when they were spotted off the island of Sainte-Croix during the night of July 20.
Fleur fleured pavilion
They were at the controls of the sailing ship named Livie , flying the Canadian flag and displaying a prominent fleur-de-lis and the inscription “Gaspé QC” as home port.
Suspecting the Canadian crew carrying narcotics, the French Navy and customs officers on the Antillean island of St. Martin sent two ships to try to board the boat, but the sea was too rough.
Quebeckers then agreed to follow the authorities to Saint-Martin.
But in the morning, “the thugs set fire to their boat in order to make it sink and remove the evidence,” said Commissioner Moustier, the French brigade called the Central Office for the suppression of traffic illicit drugs.
Lepage and Bélanger had taken refuge in their inflatable raft of survival, while a plume of smoke was emerging from the Gaspé boat.
“The officers and the sailors were quite efficient in controlling the fire, apprehending the traffickers and recovering the 53 bales of cocaine, which weighed in at 1506 kilograms,” said the commissioner.
The two Quebeckers appeared before a judge Tuesday in Fort-de-France, in the capital of Martinique where is also a naval base of the French Navy.
Their detention on remand has been ordered until further notice. Martin Lepage and Langis Bélanger have no judicial record in Quebec.
“This drug of phenomenal market value was destined for the Canadian market. These people worked for an organization based in Canada. There is no mystery about that, “the commissioner told us.
The Journal learned that the two men would be linked to a major gang drug dealer in the West, who had completed a lengthy incarceration sentence in the early 2000s.
♦ The West gang has already been led by Raymond Desfossés – the former employer of the contract killer Gerald Gallant – and was associated with the brothers Richard and Gerald Matticks, who had their entry to the Port of Montreal to facilitate the importation of drugs, according to police investigations.
A SAILING YACHT OF THE PRESTIGIOUS VENDÉE GLOBE
Before being used as a means of transportation for suspected traffickers, Liviahad participated several times in the most prestigious sailing race in the world.
This 18-meter sailboat, which has already earned $ 400,000, was designed and built by the Hungarian navigator Nandor Fa for the 1996 edition of the Vendée Globe, according to the magazine Voiles et Voiliers .
Nicknamed “Everest of the Seas”, the Vendée Globe is considered the world’s most difficult and famous “race around the world”, according to the site of this event.
Sold in 2017
It is at the controls of this sailboat that the famous French navigator Raphaël Dinelli took part in three editions of the Vendée Globe during the 2000s.
Dinelli – who is now an airplane pilot and wants to be the first to cross the Atlantic with a hybrid electric and solar-powered aircraft – wrote on the site histoiredeshalfs.com that he has traveled 75,000 nautical miles lonely on “this excellent sailboat”, which was simply called the “77”.
This same website mentions that a “new owner” of Quebec, whose identity is not specified, purchased it in 2017 at an undetermined price and that the boat was completely restored.
His new buyer had left the “77” at the bow of the boat.
- A Montrealer close to the Hells Angels, an American and a European are arrested off the US East Coast aboard the Sea Ya II sailboat that was carrying 750 kg of cocaine, after a stopover on the island of St. Martin.
- Quebecer Luc Chevrefils and a Nova Scotia captain are arrested by the RCMP on a sailboat from the island of St. Martin with 250 kg of cocaine on board.
- The Quebec sailboat Luc Normandin is intercepted off the coast of Puerto Rico with 750 kg of cocaine on board, which will be worth 17 years of incarceration in Normandin and 15 to the sponsor of this import, the tribal caïd Raymond Desfossés.