Behind the retired couple, a 110 million euro traffic: the trial has opened in Bordeaux

Behind the retired couple, a 110 million euro traffic: the trial has opened in Bordeaux
Behind the retired couple, a 110 million euro traffic: the trial has opened in Bordeaux

Retirees were playing mules

Sixteen defendants, including three detainees, appeared for a week before the criminal court for importing, acquiring, transporting, possessing, offering or transferring narcotics, participating in a criminal association, in addition to customs offences.

The trial is taking place two years after the dismantling, in the Lyon region, of a network presented at the time by the police as “national in scope”, supplying drugs to several large cities, Bordeaux and Lyon at the very least.

In June 2022, eight men aged 25 to 35 were indicted and imprisoned in this investigation led by the Interregional Specialized Jurisdiction (Jirs) of Bordeaux.

Nearly 600 kilos of cannabis resin, 40 kilos of grass and 5 kilos of cocaine, several weapons including two assault rifles, 170,000 euros in cash and various luxury products, including Rolex watches, were seized.

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The investigation began with the arrest in the summer of 2020 of a retired couple who were acting as “mules” by smuggling drugs from Spain to Bordeaux, using a hiding place set up in their vehicle, according to the police. Six other people were arrested during this first raid and 450,000 euros in cash were discovered.

In May 2021, a second operation led to the arrest of several other suspects in the Bordeaux region, with the police seizing another 950 kilos of cannabis resin and nearly 200,000 euros. By tracing the thread, investigators finally identified the heads of the alleged network operating in Lyon – the people arrested in June 2022.

15 tons of cannabis

At the end of the investigations, they estimate that the retired couple imported “more than 15 tonnes of cannabis representing more than 110,000,000 euros”, “cumulative over one year”, according to a judicial source.

Other drug imports were reportedly made from Morocco via heavy goods vehicles whose cargo was collected and distributed in Bordeaux.

“The size of the network, the number of protagonists and the ramifications that have been brought to light have made it necessary to partially postpone the case,” this source stressed: the court is judging the Bordeaux side of the organisation this week, while the investigation is continuing for “the Lyon and Swiss sides”.



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