Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Nigerian web users call for end to violence

Read more

FOCUS

Bitcoin in the US: A monetary revolution?

Read more

ENCORE!

Fast cars and slow trains

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

FACE-OFF

François Hollande: France's most unpopular president

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Mansouria Mokhefi, Middle East and North Africa specialist

Read more

LIFESTYLES

Sustainable cuisine

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Google Was Making A Space Elevator And A Hoverboard, But Couldn't Get Them To Work

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bitter pill to swallow

Read more

  • Wheelchair-bound Bouteflika votes in Algerian election

    Read more

  • Films by four French directors short-listed for Cannes' top prize

    Read more

  • Ukraine talks open in Geneva as Putin talks tough on TV

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • Frantic search for survivors of sunken South Korea ferry

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

  • Crunch talks on Ukraine begin in Geneva

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • Real Madrid beat old foes Barcelona to lift Copa del Rey

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

    Read more

  • Brazil club Mineiro cancel Anelka signing after no-show

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • New York police disband unit targeting Muslims

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

  • Paris police memo calling for Roma eviction ‘rectified’

    Read more

  • Burgundy digs into France's bureaucratic 'mille-feuille'

    Read more

Europe

Marseille police unit closed due to rampant corruption

©

Latest update : 2012-10-07

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced the closure of an anti-crime squad in Marseille after theft, racketeering and drug trafficking were exposed in the police unit. Prosecutor Jacques Dallest said “gangrene” had struck the service.

Twelve police officers in France's crime-ridden Marseille appeared in court Friday on suspicion of corruption, extortion and drug dealing, with a prosecutor claiming there was "overwhelming" proof of guilt.

Seven were locked up and five granted provisional release while French Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced he was suspending them and terminating their anti-criminal brigade team.

"The deeds for which they are being pursued are exceptionally grave", the interior ministry said in a statement, and if they proved true they "would damage the honour and the probity that must be shown by those who guarantee the security of our fellow citizens."

Cannabis and money had been found in the lockers of the members of an elite detective squad and above a false ceiling in their office building in the northern district of the southern French city, prosecutor Jacques Dallest said.

The officers were arrested on Tuesday. They are suspected of having stolen drugs and cash from dealers and of holding on to cigarettes confiscated from illicit sellers.

Dallest said secretly recorded conversations in their official vehicles were "very revealing" and suggested the alleged corruption could have involved more officers than those in court on Friday.

"The feeling is that gangrene has taken hold of this service," the prosecutor said.

In Paris, Interior Minister Valls said the officers would face harsh punishment if charged and found guilty.

"If the allegations against them are proven, I will be extremely harsh and will take decisions," he said, adding there is "no place for those who dirty the uniforms of the police."

If charges are brought, the Marseille affair will be the second major corruption case to hit the French police in little over a year.

Michel Neyret, the former deputy police chief of Lyon who was hailed for cutting drug crime and jewellery heists, is currently under house arrest awaiting trial on charges of accepting gifts and favours from members of the city's underworld.

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault last month announced beefed up security with 205 extra police to tackle deadly gang violence in Marseille following a wave of underworld shootings.

He also announced the creation of a new security zone in the city's southern quarters.

The Mediterranean port of some 850,000 residents, long known as a hotbed of crime, has been struck by a wave of shootings with assault rifles in turf wars over the lucrative illegal drug trade.

A district mayor had urged the government to take drastic steps, even appealing for the army to be sent in, but the call was rejected quickly by Valls.

(AFP)

Date created : 2012-10-06

  • FRANCE

    Marseille gets more police to combat gang violence

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Deploying army to violent Marseille ‘inconceivable’

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)