Small-town French mayor and deputy go on trial for complicity in drug trafficking

The trial on Monday of a small-town mayor and her deputy for complicity in drug trafficking appears to illustrate the scale of France's drug dealing problem, highlighting how drug barons have encroached upon some rural French communities and even held sway over their elected representatives.

France is "submerged by drug trafficking", according to a particularly alarming investigative report delivered by a group of French senators on May 7.

Just one week later, a notorious French drug baron was freed by gunmen in a spectacular attack on a prison van that killed two police officers, wounded three others, and shocked the nation.

Now the story of a small-town mayor on trial for complicity with drug trafficking appears to illustrate the scale of France's drug dealing problem.

Nineteen people went on trial in Paris on Monday in connection with drug trafficking in the northern French town of Canteleu, home to 14,000 residents in the Normandy region.

The defendants include the town's former Socialist mayor, Mélanie Boulanger, elected in 2014, and her deputy, Hasbi Colak. Both are accused of “complicity in drug trafficking” of cocaine, heroin and cannabis.

A town under control

(With AFP)


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