World News

Drugs rain down on French countryside after fighter jet intercepts suspected smuggler

A pilot operating a small aircraft over a remote region of France dumped dozens of bags suspected of containing drugs after he was intercepted by a French fighter jet over the weekend. 

Authorities were alerted to the single-seater tourist plane after it flew near a nuclear plant in restricted airspace in the French region of Ardèche. 

french fighter jet

This photograph taken on June 23, 2023, shows a Rafale fighter jet performing an exhibition flight demonstration during the International Paris Air Show at the ParisLe Bourget Airport.  ( Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP)

A Rafale jet, one of France’s most modern fighters, went to check on the aircraft and “witnessed very erratic behavior in the cockpit, real agitation,” a military spokesperson told Agence France-Presse, a French news agency. “Over the course of a few minutes, he saw the door open and packages being thrown out.” 


The pilot was arrested after he landed at an airstrip in Lanas, Ardèche. The local prosecutor’s office said the pilot is a Polish national with a history of drug offenses. 

Investigators found 15 packages scattered across the ground containing nearly 70 pounds of a “white powder” that is being analyzed. 


Approximately 45,000 Euros – roughly equivalent to $49,000 – were found in the cockpit of the small airplane, which was registered to Poland. 

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