Latest News

Operation “Colbert II” enabled seizures described as “historic”

2024-03-29 07:00:09
Checking vehicles at the Beynost toll, near Lyon, during “Operation Colbert”, June 1, 2023. JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK / AFP

The truck, loaded with salads, was wandering not far from the Spanish border until it was stopped for an unexpected check. The customs officers’ searches corroborate this banal scene of market gardening until they discover that in the fifth row of pallets the curly load changes its nature. It is contraband tobacco (9 tonnes in total) which fills the bottom of the vehicle. This seizure is one of the largest taken at the end of operation “Colbert II” targeting tobacco trafficking throughout France.

Read also | Article reserved for our subscribers “Clean Square” operations against drug trafficking: tensions with those on the ground

Add to your selections

The results, described as“historical” by the administration, amounted to a total of 27 tonnes of illicit merchandise recovered between Wednesday March 20 and Wednesday March 27. They also uncover the methods of opportunistic criminal groups, capable of trafficking tobacco as well as narcotics, sometimes following the same routes or using the same techniques, like the Colombian cartels, renowned for their ingenuity in matters of concealment. of cocaine in cargoes of fruits and vegetables.

The “Colbert II” operation also made it possible to carry out 108 arrests and 52 requests for administrative closures of businesses. It was carried out quietly, when “Place Net”, targeting drugs, saturated the media space. Its implementation could have been better « extra-large » if certain operations had not been canceled or rescaled due to the requisition of personnel, particularly law enforcement, for “Place Net”, testify several customs officers and police officers.

“Mule” phenomenon

“We apply the same methods to tobacco as in the fight against drug trafficking”explains to Monde Thomas Cazenave, Minister for Public Accounts, who lists three major issues: “The presence, behind this trafficking, of organized crime; the several billion annual losses in public revenue; and the defense of the 23,000 tobacconists who suffer from this unfair competition. »

The most recent cases demonstrate that “Criminal organizations present in France, now including South American groups, use tobacco as a form of diversification of their income”, underlines Corinne Cléostrate, deputy director for the fight against fraud at the general directorate of customs and indirect rights. A “ant trafficking”segmented into small quantities at the retailer level, fueled by sometimes industrial supply logic (convoys by semi-trailers, use of large warehouses, etc.).

You have 43.03% of this article left to read. The rest is reserved for subscribers.

#Operation #Colbert #enabled #seizures #historic

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button