Creation of an anti-drug prosecution, “French-style DEA”, anti-corruption plan… what proposals to fight against drug trafficking ?

Creation of an anti-drug prosecution, “French-style DEA”, anti-corruption plan… what proposals to fight against drug trafficking ?

To fight against drug trafficking in France, the Senate Commission of Inquiry is pulling out all the stops. Midi Libre – MiKAEL ANISSET

A France overwhelmed by drug trafficking: this is the picture painted by a senatorial commission of inquiry, which proposed this Tuesday, May 14, the creation of an anti-narcotics and of a "French-style DEA", stifling the executive which has not taken stock of "the extent of the threat".

The senators' report makes this observation: trafficking which extends over the entire national territory like "start-stups nation" "uberization" trafficking –, with rebound zones in the Antilles and an outbreak of violence linked to competition between criminal organizations.

"We are not yet a narco-state", swept away the president of the commission of ;rsquo;Jérôme Durain investigation (PS).

In their report, the members of the commission of inquiry nevertheless criticized the management of the executive, which according to them did not take the right measure of drug trafficking, particularly in the anti-drug plan that the government must present soon.

"He was judged starving, destitute. This seems to suggest that the issue of drug trafficking has not been adequately judged by the executive", said rapporteur Etienne Blanc (LR).

"The magistrates explained that the complexity of the code of criminal procedure presented a certain number of flaws which brought down an entire procedure", underlined the rapporteur, also evoking the "glaring lack of human, technical and legal resources".

"Great war to be fought"

The senators propose to facilitate the use of "repentants" and to bring the criminal procedure up to the challenges by creating a file "safe" (containing the elements on the techniques used by the police which would not be disclosed to the defense) and by facilitating the use of special investigative techniques.

Proposals which already arouse the concern of the association of criminal lawyers (Adap) which sees " reduction of rights and means of defense" which would be "prejudicial to all citizens".

The commission proposes "the creation of a national anti-narcotics prosecutor's office (Pnast), based on the model of the PNF (financial prosecutor's office) or the Pnat (anti-terrorist prosecutor's office), which will make it possible to specialize and embody the fight against drug trafficking, with the competence to focus on the high end of the spectrum", detailed Jérôme Durain.

"Corollary of this organization, on the repressive side, it is necessary to strengthen the Ofast created in 2019, leader of the anti-narcotic fight but which today ;today is only in title", continued the president of the commission. "We have the ;ambition, he said, to make Ofast a French-style DEA. This implies real authority over investigations and the allocated resources".

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is an American federal agency, created in the early 1970s and responsible for combating drug trafficking in the United States.

The Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin, as well as the bosses of the police and the gendarmerie Frédéric Veaux and Christian Rodriguez had rejected this suggestion before the commission, considering that Ofast was "the right tool".

A critical assessment for "net places"


In its report, the commission was also critical of the results of operations "net places" and "XXL net seats" in view of the considerable resources deployed. "They are useful but the results are modest".

Questioned before the National Assembly on the follow-up to be given to this report, Gérald Darmanin replied that he had only read the "main conclusions" , but that he would look with his services "all’the proposals of this serious commission", while recalling that the fight against drugs was "the great war to be waged in our country".

The senators insisted on the importance of hitting traffickers in the wallet. Etienne Blanc recalled that the turnover of drug trafficking in France represented "between 3 and 6 billion euros" per year. But, he added, "only 100 million euros are seized".

On this aspect, the commission suggests making"systematic heritage surveys in all surveys". The commission further proposes that "front businesses" which are used to launder drug money do "the subject of administrative closures".

Fight against corruption

Another proposal: the creation of a "injunction for unexplained wealth". You have to ask "to traffickers how they have constituted their assets […] and if they fail to do so, they are exposed to seizure or confiscation", developed Etienne Blanc.

Finally, the two senators insisted on the fight against corruption, which takes the form of consulting police files, purchasing services from dockworkers, etc. "It is time to react before experiencing the same fate as neighboring countries, estimated Jérôme Durain, for whom "the risk is immense".

"No profession is spared: since traffickers offer extremely high sums, some personnel may give in, at a given moment , at the call of these criminal sirens", underlined at the end of November Stéphanie Cherbonnier, head of Ofast.

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