Several Atlantic beaches in France have been closed in recent weeks, and bundles upon bundles of blow have been piling up in the prosecutor’s office in Rennes, Brittany, as authorities try to identify the origin of some $66 million worth of cocaine that continues to wash ashore.
"Any discovery must be reported immediately to the police or gendarmes without touching [the drugs]," the prosecutors’ office said, as reported by the BBC. Those who do not comply could see themselves slapped with a 10-year jail sentence for trafficking of cocaine.
If jail is not enough to keep people away from the powder, Philippe Astruc, a public prosecutor in Rennes, noted that “there is absolutely an immediate health risk” associated with it.
“It’s a very pure product that must not be consumed in this form because there is a very high risk of overdose,” he said, according to the New York Post.
Most batches recovered have an 83% purity rate.
The drugs, which have been found within a 310-mile stretch from the beaches of Landes to Nantes, have reportedly been wrapped in clear or black plastic bags labeled “diamante” or “brillante.”
Astruc noted that while the cocaine has yet to be officially traced to an individual, prosecutors have a hunch that the product "probably comes from South America, and it is worth very large sums of money.”
European anti-drug police, as well as the US Drug Enforcement Administration, are working alongside French prosecutors to conduct the investigation.