FRANCE: Another Connection

Beneath a midnight Mediterranean sky, French customs agents last week approached the shrimp boat Caprice des Temps (Whim of Time) off the Riviera coast. The owner, a 58-year-old fishing-fleet operator named Marcel Boucan, refused to answer a radio order to cut his engines, so the agents fired shots across the vessel's bow and boarded it. Boucan frantically threw mysterious papers overboard and, while being taken back to port, slipped over the side. The next morning he was recaptured, exhausted, near the walls of Marseille's harbor fortress.

The agents had been watching the Caprice des Temps for some time —though for...

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