He was a robber, he became a painter and an actor. Jean-Claude Pautot was indicted on May 26 in a cocaine trafficking case and placed in pre-trial detention in France, Agence France-Presse learned on Thursday June 1 from a judicial source, confirming information from the Journal du Dimanche ( JDD).
According to this source, the sexagenarian was handed over to the French investigating judge by Spain, on a European arrest warrant. Then he was indicted on counts of importing narcotics into an organized gang – a crime incurring thirty years of imprisonment – drug trafficking, criminal association and aggravated money laundering.
Mr. Pautot, a former figure in organized crime, had been arrested on the sidelines of the boarding off the Azores, in international waters, of a sailboat carrying 740 kilos of cocaine. He had been placed under judicial supervision in the Spanish province of Cadiz, in the south of the country.
Investigation still ongoing
After decades of robberies, prison and on the run, Jean-Claude Pautot had settled down, becoming a painter and co-writing the comic book Face au mur, a fiction directly inspired by his life. Also an actor, he climbed the steps at the Cannes Film Festival in 2022 for the film The Innocent, by Louis Garrel in which he played a supporting role.
A Spanish source close to the investigation said in early January that nine other people – French, Spanish and Moroccan – had been arrested in connection with the investigation, which is still ongoing.
According to the JDD, which had revealed the information, the sailboat had left Martinique, and arrests had also taken place in France, where 390 additional kilos of cocaine had been seized within the framework of this operation carried out jointly by the French authorities and Spanish.