Drug trafficking in Marseille now openly run by North Africans
The French city of Marseille is now run by delinquents who sell drugs with impunity, from the northern districts to the city center.
Published: February 1, 2020, 8:31 am
The [Interior Minister Christoph] Castaner plan against drugs, announced with great fanfare in mid-September last year, has not scared any criminals in Marseille. In the city, drug trafficking is going particularly well, in full view of everyone.
French daily Le Figaro did an investigative report, with journalists embedded in the heart of the northern districts of the city, where drugs are a business like any other. The daily life of the inhabitants of the area, which covers the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th arrondissements of the city, is punctuated by this traffic, which sometimes prevents them from taking the stairs of their building because it is squatted by “dealers”.
Has the drug war been lost here?
“There is no neighbourhood where we do not return. The issue is not to eradicate the traffic. As long as the demand exists, there will be drugs in circulation, but it is a question of reversing the balance of power,” Sylvain, a police officer told Le Figaro, who believes that the “choufs”, the lookouts, “fear” the police “because they know we will come back to see them and that we will not let them go”.
Even for these “little hands”, business is lucrative. In one month, they can earn between 2 000 and 3 000 euros just by watching. For Sylvain, the main problem comes from judicial powerlessness.
“The little dealers we arrest, we find them some time later elsewhere, they are released because they are minors,” he lamented. In Castellane, a city in the north of Estaque where 5 000 people live, the turnover rises to more than 80 000 euros per day, sometimes 100 000.
But here as in the other districts, drug trafficking has been taken over by new criminals. “Today, as everyone knows, it is the North Africans who dominate the traffic,” says Armand, who has been in prison for over 15 years and knows the business perfectly.
“Corsicans are still powerful in the field of slot machines and games, but in terms of drugs they are on the decline,” he continued.
And it is not the Castaner plan that will bring any solution. The Minister of the Interior has in fact planned to make a telephone number available to residents of the neighbourhoods to call the police when a point of sale is established.
For Omar, wanted by the police and member of one of the clans who dominate the traffic in Marseille, “this measure is nonsense”.
“Young people in the neighbourhood will never call the police. The first to speak, he’s dead,” he told Le Figaro.
And the criminal continued to explain the reasons for his investment in drug trafficking: “Somewhere, we are replacing the state. We invest in the economic fabric and buy service companies. We have created a counter society.”
The North African also explained “that there are links and bridges between the bearded men of the cities and us”, he said , referring to radical Islamic clerics.
“Like them, we are in jihad. They obviously don’t use drugs, I don’t take drugs either, but we support our community. We are the ones who liberated Marseille in 1944, why should we not have the right to eat? Marseille is no longer Jean-Claude Gaudin, it is ours,” he added. Gaudin is a French politician for The Republicans. He has been Mayor of Marseille since 1995.
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