Dakar Rally Dollars ...
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Thread: Dakar Rally Dollars ...

  1. #1
    backslider Array K-rod's Avatar
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    May 2008
    at a critical lean angle
    2006 K1200S

    Dakar Rally Dollars ...

    I hear running a team these days is pretty costly:

    Dakar Rally team founder is held after 1.4 tonnes of cocaine is seized in France
    David Oliveras is detained at home in Barcelona as cocaine is found in tyres of one of Epsilon Team's trucks

    The owner and co-founder of a Spanish Dakar Rally team is in custody in Madrid after French authorities discovered about 1.4 tonnes of cocaine hidden in a truck belonging to the team on its return from South America.

    David Oliveras is the director of the Barcelona-based Epsilon Team, which provides technical assistance and preparation for trucks competing in the Dakar Rally.

    Authorities said they had found 1.393 tonnes of cocaine wrapped tightly in plastic and hidden inside the large radial tyres in one of the team's trucks after it arrived on Wednesday at the northern French port of Le Havre. The ship carrying the 8x8 all-terrain truck was loaded with vehicles returning from last month's Dakar rally – a nearly 6,000-mile journey that wound its way through Argentina, Bolivia and Chile before ending in Valparaíso, Chile.

    French authorities said that after arriving at the port, the drugs were moved on to a truck bound for Spain. Acting on a tip from Bulgarian authorities, French police stopped the truck at a rest stop on a motorway near Normandy.

    The Lille prosecutor Frédéric Fèvre said it was the largest cocaine seizure ever made in France. French police added that this was a "severe blow" to an international drug trafficking ring, and put the estimated street value of the cocaine at €270m.

    Two Spanish nationals were arrested by French authorities, who also issued an arrest warrant for Oliveras. He was detained at his home in Barcelona on Saturday.

    Oliveras has refused extradition to France, Spanish media reported. Spain's high court must now decide whether it will hand over the 59-year-old to French authorities. Local authorities in Bulgaria also arrested two men in connection with the operation.

    Oliveras founded Epsilon Team with two partners after taking part in his first Dakar Rally in 1987, according to the team's website. Last month's rally marked the 27th time the team had participated in the Dakar Rally.

    News of the arrests has shocked Spain's close-knit community of Dakar racers, El Periódico reported. "It seems impossible to me that authentic Dakar racers like them would be part of this," the racer Juan Porcar told the Spanish daily. Ever since the rally changed locations to South America, he added, he had worried that racers might be a target for traffickers. "It's certain that the sheer size of the caravan, with more than 400 vehicles, could induce traffickers to think that it is easy to manipulate a vehicle and put the drugs in them, turning the participants into unknowing transporters."

    Jordi Juvanteny, a driver for Epsilon in last month's rally, echoed Porcar's concern. It would be "very easy to manipulate and access one of our vehicles", he said. He said that after the race "we left the trucks in a clearing about 15km from the port of Valparaíso and handed over the keys to strangers".
    I define Hell as having to ride back and forth from Blaine to Tijuana on I - 5 in perpetuity.

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  3. #2
    AdventureR Array BELDAR's Avatar
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    Nov 2002
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    That's pretty crazy.

    A related story

    A few years ago, our support truck along with trucks from a few other teams, were held at customs when it arrived back to England after the Argentine-Chile Dakar. Apparently they found traces of some kind of narcotic in the cab.

    Our team may be known to enjoy a beer or two, but no drugs. Anyway, After a few hours they let our truck and driver go. It gave my team a good scare. Cause drug trafficking charges are no joke.

    We can only assume what may have happened to the truck when it was being shipped. With the bikes and team equipment, it's packed and sealed in a container ourselves. With the support trucks, we hand the keys over to the shipper and it's out of our hands.

    Even though we believe the shipper may be doing some funny business with stuff being shipped, ultimately, it's the cargo owner that gets fingered

    You can only be so cautious. But if a shipping company is upto no good. You can be rather screwed

  4. #3
    Captain Charisma Array Office Buelly's Avatar
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    Nov 2013
    I swear this exact same thing happened back in 2010.
    Responsible for the creation of sections 115,116 and 117 of the Workers Compensation Act.

  5. #4
    Registered User Array bandito's Avatar
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    May 2008
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    Manipulating freight and cargo is a requirement of drug distribution... so it's no surprise. And the criminal element controls huge components of that end of business.

    It is too easy to add drugs onto shipments going here and there... and most of it goes undetected. You could mail cocaine or heroin to someone via Canada post and most likely it goes completely un noticed forever.
    Long Live Shervin Of The North!

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