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France probes ex-boss of anti-drugs agency

France’s Former anti-drugs agency boss has been placed under formal investigation over allegations he aided and abetted narco-traffickers, the Paris Prosecutor’s Office said on Friday.

Francois Thierry, who ran the drug-fighting Octris agency between 2010 and 2016, faced allegations of complicity in the acquisition and transportation of drugs and in the export of drugs by organised gangs.

The Paris prosecutor opened an inquiry into the practices of Octris late 2015 following information a man who said he had infiltrated a narco ring and worked on behalf of Thierry.

France: Francois Thierry: Former anti-drug boss facing probe. Twitter photo.

France’s Liberation newspaper reported in May, 2016, that the man given the cover name “Stephane V’’ by police also said he had worked for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

There was no immediate reaction from Thierry’s lawyer.

The inquiry centres on a record seizure of cannabis in Paris in 2015 – seven tonnes. Mr Thierry allegedly allowed a gang to import the drugs, so that their smuggling methods could be monitored.
He is quoted as saying justice officials knew about the operation.

The opening of a formal investigation can lead to charges, but for now Mr Thierry remains free.

He is suspected of “complicity in the storage, transportation and acquisition of drugs and complicity in the export of drugs by an organised gang”.

He allegedly omitted to tell justice officials that the gang had actually smuggled at least 15 tonnes of cannabis into France. In the operation, Octris allegedly planned to infiltrate one of its officers, Sofiane Hambli, into the Morocco-based gang.

Seven tonnes of the drug were found hidden in vans in the up-market 16th district of Paris.



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