The grocery store was subject to an administrative closure, the manager denies having continued to sell tobacco from his home

The grocery store was subject to an administrative closure, the manager denies having continued to sell tobacco from his home

Le jeune épicier de la route de Beaucaire a comparu, ce mardi, devant le tribunal correctionnel Midi Libre – ARCHIVE MiKAEL ANISSET

The grocery store at 131 route de Beaucaire in Nîmes was subject to an administrative closure last December. His manager, arrested on January 9, denies having continued the resale of tobacco in his apartment.

At 131 Route de Beaucaire in Nîmes, the grocery store was already subject to a temporary administrative closure since December 15. On November 16, the police seized 400 packs of cigarettes, a two-kilo hookah pot, and chewing tobacco in this business. 

This time, Yann, his manager, aged 32, was arrested by the police on January 9, 2024. One of his clients had been checked during the night and had admitted to having bought tobacco from him.

"I'm just giving away cigarettes. Alcohol was for the party

 Yann, 11 mentions in his criminal record,  was prohibited from continuing his business. This time, the police searched his apartment which he occupied above the grocery store. The police seized 190 packets of foreign brand cigarettes, around thirty liters of alcohol which had not been opened and a payment terminal which had been used. " I smoke two packs of cigarettes a day. Do the math, retorts the young, rather casual grocer who appeared this Tuesday, January 16, before the criminal court. I just give cigarettes. Alcohol was for partying. And I had closed the premises, assures the defendant who denies having installed this clandestine grocery store in his apartment. install in Nîmes, in 2020, in the South. "For the sun", recalls the defendant.

Three years in prison requested by the prosecutor

His condescending and contemptuous behavior annoys the magistrates of the court. "I have nothing to say… There are seven grocery stores on Route de Beaucaire, sighs the defendant. It wasn't me who sold that pack of cigarettes." And to add, after having been warned by the president of the court and the prosecutor: "I am like that… They woke me up at 6 a.m. ( Editor’s note: in prison). You have to understand. "Me too, the president pointed out to him, I have been up since 6 o'clock". " It’s your job, Yann replies. It's good. I have nothing to say." 

" Me, I'm going to try to do my job, continues the prosecutor. In this apartment, there is money from tobacco, alcohol. We are in front of someone who had hidden part of their stock and continues its activity ". The prosecutor requested a heavy sentence: three years of imprisonment, a tax fine of 8,000 euros and a ban on trading for 10 years.

Sentenced to two years in prison

Me Philippe Rey, the Parisian's lawyer protests. " He was sleeping a few days ago at Espelido. He's a 32-year-old man who doesn't think. And you have no proof of the resale of cigarettes. He smokes 14 packs of cigarettes a week. This is his personal consumption. We intercepted a consumer more than a km from his apartment!"

The grocer was sentenced to two years in prison and imprisoned. A tax fine of 2,000 € was also set, as well as a ban on engaging in commercial activity for five years.

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