France 'flooded' with cocaine as traffickers exploit 'back door to Europe'

France is being “flooded” with cocaine as dozens of drug ‘mules’ arrive daily in Paris on passenger flights from Guiana, a French territory in South America.

After landing in Paris, some of the drugs are then transported to the UK and other European countries, notably the Netherlands, according to French police.

Police and customs officials at Orly airport say they are “overwhelmed” by the steep rise in the number of smugglers boarding domestic flights to Paris from Cayenne, the capital of French Guiana, since 2015.

The amounts reaching France have rocketed as Colombian and other Latin American drugs gangs have started exploiting Guiana as a “back-door” to Europe, police say.

Guiana is part of France but suffers from poverty, lawlessness and high youth unemployment, providing a ready supply of people willing to carry drugs to France in return for payments of as little as €2,000 (£1,760).

A police source said the youngest mule detected so far was aged 13, the oldest over 80.

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