Local May 18, 2016 | 9:11 am

Spain nabs accused in Dominican-French ‘Air Cocaine’ case

Marseille, France.- One of the accused in the ‘Air Cocaine’case, which led to the arrest of two French pilots n the Dominican Republic,was arrested last week in Spain where he was linked to another drug case, judicialsources quoted by AFP said Tuesday.

Ali Bouchareb was arrested in Spain, where he had violated termsof his bail for his release in another cocaine trafficking case, according tothe same source.

In France, Ali Bouchareb is suspected of being theorganizer of flights on private planes between Latin America and France, which boughtcocaine from Mexican suppliers.

The investigation began after a tip on a suspicious flightbetween Dominican Republic and Saint-Tropez Airport in France, which allegedly formedpart of a major international cocaine trafficking ring.

Dominican authorities arrested French pilots Bruno Odos andPascal Fauret on March 19, 2013, when they were about to take off in a rentedplane loaded with 680 kilos of cocaine. The two pilots, who always pleaded notguilty, fled the country after convicted in October, 2015.

A Santo Domingo appellate court sentenced then in absentiato 20 years in prison.

Another Frenchman, Christophe Naudin, is being held in theDominican Republic charged in the pilots’ escape. Naudin was extradited to theDominican Republic in early March from Egypt, where he was on a business trip,

The Frenchman, who risks being sentenced to as much as 15years in prison for conspiracy and migrants smuggling, was sent to pretrial detentionfor three months once he arrived in Santo Domingo.

Two other Frenchman are still being held in the country: NicolasPisapia, who was listed as a passenger aboard the Falcon 50 plane with theseized cocaine, continues in the Dominican Republic where he was sentenced to20 years in prison, and flight engineer Alain Castaign, who’s in a privateclinic, allegedly recovering from injuries sustained in a traffic accident.

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