Macron promises “XXL” anti-drug operations everywhere in France

(Marseille) French President Emmanuel Macron, traveling to Marseille on Tuesday, announced an “unprecedented operation” intended to “put a stop to drug trafficking” which has bloodied the country’s second city, an operation which must expand throughout the country.

“The goal is to try to destroy the networks and the traffickers and for the few who make your life impossible to leave,” explained the Head of State to the inhabitants of the city of Castellane, in Marseille, two weeks after the cry of alarm from magistrates who had requested a “Marshall plan” to save the city in the south-east of France from drug banditry.

The territorial war for control of lucrative business points has bloodied the Mediterranean city like never before in 2023, with 49 people killed, including four collateral victims, and 123 people injured.

If since October a certain lull seems to be taking shape, “it could start again, we have small beginnings,” warned the Marseille prosecutor, Nicolas Bessone, on Tuesday.

“Yes, drugs are our enemy” and the police “will shell the territory for weeks,” swore Emmanuel Macron, without naming a specific city.

He indicated that the operation in Marseille was “the first in a series of around ten “Place Net” operations known as “XXL””.

On Monday, 900 police officers, gendarmes and customs officers were deployed in and around Marseille, on Tuesday almost 800. In two days, they arrested 98 people, placed 71 in police custody, seized four weapons, more than 385,000 euros in cash or in assets, 8.7 kg of cannabis and 339 g of cocaine, according to a report from the police headquarters late Tuesday afternoon.

“The idea is to have a situation that is clearly cleaned up and to have a very strong impact in the coming weeks,” declared, alongside the Head of State, the new police prefect of the Bouches department. -du-Rhône, Pierre-Edouard Colliex.

” Good job ”

“Before, the police, they came once or twice a day, now they are there all the time, for the “shit” they did a good job. As a trader, this is good news, there are people who did not dare to come to the neighborhood,” said Youssouf Issilamou, 32, a Comorian employee of a halal butcher shop.

If the various left-wing mayor of Marseille, Benoît Payan, also welcomed “the strengthening of measures” intended to “better protect” residents, the far-right deputy Franck Allisio launched on the social network “.

“Reconquering working-class neighborhoods in our city of Marseille will take a lot of time, but it is necessary to use other means than just the police,” commented Hassen Hammou, spokesperson for Marseille. Europe Ecology The Greens in the region and founder of the Marseille collective “Too young to die”.

“It didn’t all start this (Tuesday) morning, far from it. The fight against trafficking is obviously a marathon,” underlined the Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, from Paris.

“We have a duty towards these families who have lost a child, who have lost a loved one in a settling of scores”, and “this duty is to never give up a millimeter to traffickers”, “ stairwell by stairwell, exchange point by exchange point,” he added.

In addition to these shelling operations, several raids have recently taken place within the two main Marseille gangs, DZ Mafia and Yoda. Félix Bingui, 33, alias “the cat”, the alleged leader of the Yoda clan, was arrested in Morocco at the beginning of March.

“Narcobanditism acts in Marseille as a sort of gangrene which damages the social fabric,” warned like other magistrates Olivier Leurent, the president of the city’s judicial court at the beginning of March, judging that the State seemed to be waging an “asymmetrical war against drug banditry.


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