Criminal network using drones to supply French and Belgian prisons dismantled
A criminal network that used drones to supply more than 15 French and Belgian prisons has been dismantled in France. Three people have been remanded in custody, the prosecutor's office in Tulle, France, said on Thursday.
In January, several packages containing drugs and smartphones dropped by drones were found in Uzerche prison, the prosecutor's office said. Investigations quickly revealed that a team of criminals had been operating since the autumn of 2022, led by a person who centralised orders through a Snapchat account called drone2france.
More than 10 French prisons in different departments were supplied in this way, as well as some Belgian facilities. A source close to the investigation told the AFP news agency that the deliveries were mainly of "cigarettes and special substances".
Last Monday, eight people were arrested in a judicial operation in the Paris and Hauts-de-France regions. Three of them were brought before the investigating judge on Thursday and remanded in custody pending their trial, scheduled for 1 February.
The three are suspected of drug trafficking, the illegal transfer of items to prisoners, flying over prohibited areas and money laundering. The offences carry prison sentences of up to 10 years.
© BELGA PHOTO PAUL-HENRI VERLOOY