Saturday, August 2, 2014

France: Narcotics Cop Arrested in Theft of 50 Kilos (110#) in Paris, Same Unit That Gang-Raped Tourist

According to AFP, a major embarrassment for a Paris narcotics enforcement officer after he was arrested on Saturday (August 2) suspected of stealing over 50 kilos (110 pounds) of cocaine from the unit's Paris police headquarters.

The police officer, 34,  was believed to have made off with the illegal drugs, which have a street value of up to two million euros ($2.7 million), after security cameras spotted a person resembling him entering the headquarters with two bags, according to a statement from police and prosecutors.

The officer, who works with a Paris drug unit, was arrested near Perpignan close to the Spanish border where he was on holiday.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has called the allegations "extremely serious", and said that the officer, unidentified at the moment, has been suspended.

The drug cache was seized in a Paris raid in early July and was being kept in a secure room in the police headquarters, which overlooks the Seine river close to the landmark Notre Dame Cathedral. 

COMMENT: On Thursday (July 31) the drugs were determined to have disappeared.

A number of elite police officers have been grilled by a team from the national police's internal affairs division over the incident.

Colleagues described the suspect as "unassuming" and "trustworthy", with one source saying he had been in telephone contact with his unit to discuss active cases earlier Saturday.

The headquarters at Quai des Orfevres attracted unwelcome attention in April 2014, when two elite French officers were charged with raping a Canadian tourist in a case that sent shock-waves across France.

The gang-rape suddenly disappeared from the media threshold with no indication of the investigation's disposition.

The Canadian gang-rape victim was raped in the building after meeting the officers during a night of heavy drinking at an Irish pub.