Corruption Discovered in Marseille Anti-Crime Brigade

Manuel Valls, Interior Minister, asks that recent events not discredit Bouches-du-Rhône police officers

On October 2nd, seven policemen in the Marseille anti-crime brigade (BAC) were arrested and five others were placed under judicial control because of the suspicion of involvement with stolen money and drug dealers.

Manuel Valls, Interior Minister, announced that he suspended them from their functions and that the North BAC day team, to which the police officers belonged, was disbanded. He made a statement in which he explained that, “the acts they are being charged with are extremely serious” and “if they turn out to be true”, they “are compromising the honor and integrity of which those who assure the safety of our citizens must have.” However, “despite a severity that no one contests, this matter should not discredit the 7,000 police officers of Bouche-du-Rhône,” Valls asserted.

The preparation of the case for the eventual judgment has been lead since February 22nd by judges Patricia Krummenacker and Caroline Charpentier for “theft perpetrated in organized” groups, a crime that is punishable by 20 years in prison.

They were under a very close surveillance with microphones and cameras in the BAC’s buildings and in their cars. The prosecutor said the discussions recorded were overwhelming and disclosed a whole list of infractions such as stealing, racketeering, drugs, and contrabands, all of which were repeated over time.

During the search of the BAC buildings, 450 grams of marijuana and money were found in the locker rooms, at which point eighteen other policemen were suspended by Valls. They are no longer allowed to carry their weapons and badges, but they still receive their salaries. As it represents almost the entire brigade, it was dissolved on October 6th and the South BAC team is filling in for the North brigade.

On October 11th, Valls confirmed the institution of a new BAC that will be unified for Marseille as a whole. Pierre-Marie Bourniquel, the departmental director of public security of Bouches-du-Rhône, declared, “beginning Monday, the reorganized BAC will function under a new scheme.”

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