Cocaine. (Illustration) - Rex Features / REX / SIPA

It took six months of investigation to go up the entire chain of criminals. An Albanian network of drug traffickers, from principals to dealers, was dismantled this week between Annecy and Lyon with the imprisonment of 14 people, we learned on Saturday from concordant sources. Tuesday morning, several police raids in the Lyon suburbs, in Sevrier (Haute-Savoie) and Annecy led to the arrest of 15 men and a woman, aged 19 to 46, all of Albanian nationality and having the status of applicants asylum.

A 17th suspect, "a small salesperson at a point of sale", was arrested the night of Wednesday to Thursday, after having stolen an electric scooter in front of a video surveillance camera. At the same time, the investigators seized a sum of 3,200 euros, more than two kilos of pure or cut, compacted or bulk heroin, and approximately 500 grams of cocaine.

Heroin, cocaine ...

Fourteen men, in the end, were referred and charged with drug trafficking and the association of criminals, it was said by police sources. They were all placed in pre-trial detention, two suspects having been released. The “Stups” group of the Annecy police have been working since this fall on this network which supplied “hundreds of customers” at several points of sale around Annecy, notably in Cran Gevrier, as well as in Thonon-les- Bains (Haute-Savoie) and Oullins in the Lyon suburbs.

Investigations and police surveillance have made it possible to identify and locate sellers and principals, the network having a "large rear base" in Saint-Genis-Laval near Lyon, according to the parquet floor of Annecy. The decision to make the arrests "came from information indicating that after the confinement, some wanted to return to Albania as soon as the borders were reopened," said Commander Jean-Philippe Charvet, chief of urban security.

Another network dismantled in the fall

"They were suspicious," he added, "because in November, when another network was dismantled, we had seized 150,000 euros in cash, including 100,000 in the engine of a large Mercedes which was getting ready to make the trip to Albania. "The money systematically goes back there, via cash mandates, to be invested in hotel complexes and shops. "Every year, we imprison a lot of Albanians, 40 in 2019, there we will already be 30 in mid-2020," said the policeman.

“There is a large Albanian diaspora in Switzerland and Geneva. They gangrened the environment 7-8 years ago and little by little they crossed the border, with bridgeheads on Annemasse and Annecy ", still tells the commander Charvet by evoking a development of these networks" on Chambéry, Grenoble , Lyon and even Clermont-Ferrand ”.


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