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Customs officers in corruption case

Officers at Paris Charles de Gaulle are suspected of collecting bags of money to let through drugs

EIGHT customs officers at Paris Charles-de-Gaulle are suspected of taking millions in bribes to let through drugs.

The officers are suspected of collecting bags of money during security checks. They have been questioned in police custody and are expected to appear in court today.

They all worked in an area where “suspicious” bags were checked.

Le Figaroreports that police from the specialist drugs squad OCRTIS, making checks as part of an investigation into a cocaine smuggling operation, spotted a customs officer taking a case full of cash, belonging to one of their suspects.

Discreet checks with the man’s bosses – who expressed shock at the news - showed he was not acting under orders. Further monitoring then found he was not acting alone – another official was also involved as well as a third man, a retired customs officer, who helped them bank the cash.

Checks of the men’s accounts found they contained more than €2million, and checks at the suspects’ homes found further rolls of euros and dollars.

Under questioning the suspects named five others – minor customs officials some of whom, said Le Figaro, are said to have well-stocked foreign bank accounts, large stashes of notes at home, villas paid for in cash etc.

What was at first thought to be a case of one corrupt official stealing a bag, is now suspected of being an organised operation, where officials were being paid by drugs traffickers.

Photo: © ZIG - Fotolia.com

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