Arrests made in Air France flight cocaine case
September 25, 2013 -- Updated 1742 GMT (0142 HKT)
- Airline executive, six airline workers, security guard, loading platform supervisor arrested
- Eight members of the Venezuelan national guard are also in custody
- 1.3 tons of cocaine traveled in 30 colorful suitcases from Venezuela to France
- The bags weren't registered to any of the passengers on the flight
(CNN) -- Venezuelan authorities on Wednesday announced additional arrests in connection with a massive shipment of cocaine in an Air France flight from Caracas that landed in Paris.
In a prepared statement, the Venezuelan Attorney General's Office said 17 people have been arrested in the drug trafficking case. The flight originated at Simon Bolivar International Airport in Caracas, the Venezuelan capital.
An Air France executive in Venezuela, six airline employees, a security guard and a loading platform supervisor are among those arrested. Eight members of the Venezuelan national guard are also in custody and were scheduled to appear in front of a judge Wednesday afternoon for a preliminary hearing.
On September 11, French authorities discovered 1.3 tons of pure cocaine stuffed inside 30 suitcases on the flight. The colorful bags did not match any of the passengers on board, CNN affiliate BFMTV reported.
Coast Guard makes $20 million cocaine bust
Huge drug bust off the coast of Florida
Drug busts at sea: 4 tons of cocaine
The street value of the stash is about 200 million euros, or $270 million.
$2.6 million in cocaine found in British woman's luggage
French authorities didn't publicize the find until Saturday. Venezuela's Public Ministry announced the arrests of three of the national guard members Sunday.
Woman busted in Spain for cocaine in breast implants
Authorities worked with Spanish, British and Dutch police on the investigation, BFMTV said.
This case "illustrates the importance of strengthening International cooperation in the fight against traffickers," French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said.
Suspected drug smugglers sail to jail
In Venezuela, authorities promised a swift investigation as soon as the confiscation was announced in Paris. All 17 arrests were made in less than three days.
Venezuelan Interior and Justice Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres told reporters in Venezuela that authorities think an organized crime group with Italian and British members is responsible for the shipment.
"The suitcases were not taken into the plane through the regular baggage platforms at the airport. We're investigating how the drug (shipment) got to the airport," he said.
CNN's Rafael Romo, Holly Yan, Christabelle Fombu and Nelson Quinones contributed to this report.
Part of complete coverage on
April 21, 2014 -- Updated 1410 GMT (2210 HKT)
In South Korea, volunteer divers are risking their lives to rescue victims of the sunken ferry.
April 23, 2014 -- Updated 1413 GMT (2213 HKT)
Park Jee Young, 22, helped passengers escape as the Sewol ferry sank -- giving out life jackets while refusing to wear one herself.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 1643 GMT (0043 HKT)
What did outgoing manager David Moyes get wrong in his six months with English Premier League football team Manchester United?
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 2125 GMT (0525 HKT)
In honor of Shakespeare's birthday, here are 15 of the world's most amazing theaters.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 1734 GMT (0134 HKT)
CNN exclusive: Australian officials are hammering out a new agreement for widening the Flight 370 search area.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 1228 GMT (2028 HKT)
Malaysian officials sent to brief Chinese families are armed with little to no information.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 1545 GMT (2345 HKT)
When a team of Indian surgeons opened up the stomach of a 63-year-old man, they had no idea they'd extract a fortune.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 0701 GMT (1501 HKT)
Do these photos CNN of gun-toting men wearing green uniforms prove Russian forces are in eastern Ukraine?
April 23, 2014 -- Updated 1520 GMT (2320 HKT)
If the Duchess wears it, then your fashion career is sorted for life.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 0130 GMT (0930 HKT)
Tucked away near the border with Cameroon, this poor corner of Nigeria is no stranger to such brazen, violent acts.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 1234 GMT (2034 HKT)
Tthe constant threat of poaching, deforestation and human diseases means the world's mountain gorillas could be completely wiped out.
April 23, 2014 -- Updated 1333 GMT (2133 HKT)
Prince George takes a special interest in an Australian animal on a zoo trip.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 0202 GMT (1002 HKT)
How could a teenage stowaway survive hours in a jet's sub-zero wheel well at 38,000 feet?
April 23, 2014 -- Updated 1340 GMT (2140 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 1058 GMT (1858 HKT)
See what life is like for superyacht stewardesses-in-training. One thing's for certain -- they can never say "no."
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 0257 GMT (1057 HKT)
Home of Bruce Lee, divine dim sum, lofty buildings, loftier real estate prices and easy access to the great outdoors.
Today's five most popular stories