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The bulker Trudy was intercepted and boarded by French police off Dunkirk on October 1, in the aftermath of a drug bust.

The ship was diverted to the port for search, with officials finding and removing more than one ton of cocaine that had been concealed on board.

As a result,19 members of the Trudy’s crew were arrested on suspicion of smuggling, and the vessel was detained and moored alongside at Dunkirk’s west bulk cargo terminal.

However, on October 12, about 10 armed intruders boarded the vessel and took the replacement crew captive. The leaders were “violent and threatening” in their manner, the police said.

The boarders searched the vessel but did not take anything, while no injuries were reported.