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RAID, the anti-terrorist unit of the French National Police

French police discover weapons of war in drug bust

French police, after having arrested four individuals in connection with organised drug dealing, also found a huge arsenal of weapons including fully automatic rifles and anti-tank rocket launchers.

Published: November 19, 2017, 11:47 am

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    The four men were arrested in the regions of Eure-et-Loir, Eure and Yvelines, just west of Paris. Chartres prosecutor Rémi Coutin commented on the case saying investigators had found narcotics, 13 000 euros in cash and a massive arsenal of military-grade weaponry, radio broadcaster Europe 1 reported.

    “The investigators seized seven weapons of war, including two loaded and ready-to-run M80 rocket launchers capable of destroying a tank, two Kalashnikovs, one Spanish assault rifle, two machine guns,” Coutin said.

    Twenty-two long weapons including seven shotguns, 80 kg of ammunition or tens of thousands of rounds, and four jammers were also seized. Four high-capacity vehicles were confiscated as well. A fifth suspect is wanted and an international arrest warrant could be issued for his arrest shortly.

    “The suspects have been indicted for criminal conspiracy, violation of the law on narcotics and weapons. They have been imprisoned,” Coutin told AFP.

    A preliminary investigation was opened by the prosecutor’s office in November 2015 and entrusted to the judicial police of Orleans, following the discovery of a garage located in Lucé (Eure-et-Loir), on the outskirts of Chartres, serving as a cache to drug traffickers.

    “In December 2016, a judicial investigation was opened against X and entrusted to an investigating judge,” explained Rémi Coutin. The investigators carried out physical and technological surveillance of the suspects.

    The arrest of the individuals, on November 8, required the intervention of a hundred policemen, including the GIR of Orléans and Dreux, the BRIs of Orléans and Versailles, about thirty police officers from the RAID, as well as gendarmes.

    The article does not give a clue as to the ethnicity of the arrested men, but that may be a clue by itself. Similar raids have been carried out in other Muslim no-go areas in France involving France’s anti-terror unit RAID.

    In August, police in the no-go Paris suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis, discovered an anti-tank rocket launcher, two sawn-off shotguns, high power explosives and ammunition.

    In October, a man arrested at a police roadblock in Port-de-Bouc near Marseilles had been transporting an anti-tank rocket launcher, a rocket, and a Kalashnikov rifle with ammunition.

    As the Islamic State’s territory continues to be squeezed out of the Middle East, it will likely force the group to seek new, opportunistic revenue streams, including drug trafficking, Fortune reported.

    In another development, police have shot a man who sparked a terror alert near Spain’s border with France by shouting “Allahu Akbar” at a checkpoint.

    Officers opened fire on the man, believed to be of north African origin, after he began to shout in Arabic when the vehicle he was travelling in was intercepted at a highway toll bridge near La Jonquera on the Spanish side of the border.

    He was hit in the leg and rushed to a nearby hospital.

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