19 ON TRIAL IN TAHITI FOR DRUG RUNNING

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Young women smuggled methamphetamine

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Aug. 31, 2008) - The prosecution in the trial of 19 people in French Polynesia accused of drug smuggling has demanded jail sentences of up to ten years.

The case, which has locally been dubbed the vahine connection, centres on a drug smuggling ring which allegedly involved women carrying methamphetamine, commonly known as ice, into Tahiti.

The prosecution wants the three alleged ringleaders to be jailed for between eight to ten years.

In 2006, French police in Tahiti seized almost US$400,000 worth of the illegal drug in a single haul at French Polynesia’s international airport.

The action had not been made public immediately and resulted in several more young women being caught with the drugs on arrival from the US.

A verdict is expected on September the 2nd.

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