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CRIME

French police seize 2.4 tonnes of cannabis near Bordeaux

France’s Economy Minister has praised the work of Bordeaux law officers, after they seized more than 2.4 tonnes of cannabis resin with an estimated street value in excess of €19 million.

French police seize 2.4 tonnes of cannabis near Bordeaux
Illustrative image of cannabis resin that was seized in 2021. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP)

Bruno Le Maire and Minister Delegate in charge of Public Accounts Gabriel Attal in a joint statement: “Once again, Customs distinguished itself with an exceptional seizure of cannabis, recalling its key role in the fight against drug trafficking. We congratulate the customs officers for their daily commitment to the protection of our fellow citizens.”

Two people were taken into custody after officers stopped a lorry from Spain on the A63, near the Saugnac-et-Muret toll area, just south of Bordeaux, on Monday.

According to Le Figaro, the drugs were hidden in side compartments of the lorry, and concealed by its stated load of wheat, and were discovered by a sniffer dog during the stop.

In total, 2,414.8kg of cannabis resin and 9.75kg of cannabis herb were intercepted by the Bordeaux brigade, with an estimated value of more than €19 million on the illicit market.

Since the end of July, 2022, Customs officials have seized nearly 73 tonnes of drugs, including 41.2 tonnes of cannabis.

The French drugs squad is now investigating to determine the point of origin of the drugs, as well as their destination and the crime network behind the smuggling attempt.

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CRIME

France teacher faces ‘terror’ charges over religious chants

French prosecutors have charged a 26-year-old school teacher on suspicion he translated religious chants into French for the Islamic State (IS) group, the national anti-terror prosecutor's office said this week.

France teacher faces 'terror' charges over religious chants

The man was indicted on February 16th over alleged “terrorist criminal conspiracy with a view to committing crimes against people”, the prosecutor’s office said on Monday.

“He is charged with translating into French, singing and editing at least five religious chants promoting jihad and of sending them to members of the Islamic State group to be broadcast,” it said.

The songs were found on his “personal digital equipment”, it said. He is being held in detention.

A source close to the case, who asked to remain anonymous, said the teacher’s home was searched in December, leading to an investigation being launched.

Le Parisien newspaper said the man, a Franco-Algerian, was a primary school teacher in the Parisian suburb of Drancy.

It said he was “suspected of privately disseminating jihadist propaganda” online.

Hundreds of French men and women joined the ranks of IS after it seized large swathes of Syria and Iraq in 2014, before its territorial defeat in 2019.

IS followers have claimed responsibility for devastating attacks in France over the last decade.

They include the worst jihadist attack in French history, which took place in November 2015 in and around Paris and left 130 people dead.

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