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French police arrest 15 for drug trafficking

Messenger Online

Published: 16:32, 29 May 2024

French police arrest 15 for drug trafficking

Photo: Collected

French police have arrested 15 people for drug trafficking near the athletes' village built for the upcoming Olympic Games north of Paris, police sources said Wednesday (29 May).

They arrested the suspects at their homes early on Tuesday and took 14 of them into custody.

Police and customs officers seized just under 10 kilos of herbal cannabis and cannabis resin, 20,000 euros ($21,700) in cash and 48 mobile phones, the source said.

The operation close to the Olympic village targeted a dealing point that police have been monitoring in the run-up to the Olympic Games, which begin on July 26, said another police source.

Over the past months police have stepped up operations in Seine-Saint-Denis, where the athletes' village is located.

The village is the single biggest new-build Olympics project, located on a site by the river Seine that is a focus for regeneration efforts in the economically deprived suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis.

More than 14,000 people will be living in the Olympic Village, comprising 82 buildings in the municipalities of Saint-Denis, Saint-Ouen and Ile-Saint-Denis, north of Paris.

In a report published in mid-May, a Senate committee of enquiry warned of the growing influence of drug trafficking in France, marked in particular by an upsurge in violence linked to competition between criminal gangs.

According to the senators, drug trafficking in France generates between three and six billion euros ($3.2 billion and $6.5 billion) annually.

Paris prosecutor Laure Beccuau said in early May that she expected a spike in crimes during the Olympic Games in Paris.

"There will be many more tourists," she told Franceinfo radio."This means that the criminals will attack these tourists," she said, pointing to pick-pocketing, housing scams and other crimes.