Marseille: up to twenty-five years in prison for abuse of drug trafficking workers

Sequestration, torture, and even rape

Marseille: up to twenty-five years in prison for abuse of drug trafficking workers

Sequestration, torture, and even rape... On Friday September 29, the juvenile court sentenced six defendants working for a Marseille drug network who, in 2020, to sentences ranging from seven to twenty-five years of criminal imprisonment. had put two little traffickers through an ordeal.

It all began when, wishing to earn money, a 15-year-old local schoolboy and a 16-year-old teenager from the Paris region were recruited by traffickers from the city of Busserine in the northern districts of Marseille. Forced to work for free, they were effectively held back and cut off from their loved ones. During their confinement in the city – four days for one, almost a month for the other – they were regularly beaten, burned, strangled until they fainted. A third victim, also kidnapped, suffered knife cuts on his hands in order to “test his resistance to pain”.

The Bouches-du-Rhône Assize Court described the ordeal suffered by the first two victims who testified before the jurors during closed-door debates as kidnapping accompanied by acts of torture and barbarity by an organized gang. One of the two teenagers, hospitalized in the Paris region in an anemic state, was covered in scars and burn marks.

Eight years in prison for a resident who kidnapped the victims

Considered one of the main actors in the events, the man who acted as field manager of the network, a boy aged 18 at the time of the events, received the heaviest sentence, twenty-five years of imprisonment.

Among the accused, three were minors at the time of the facts, aged 17. Despite the heavy sentences handed down, the court gave them the benefit of the minority excuse which halves the maximum sentence incurred. One of them was sentenced to eighteen years' imprisonment, the Assize Court having also sentenced him for the rape of one of the victims. The young accused admitted to having imposed fellatio in a cellar in the city, which he had filmed, then threatening to broadcast it on social networks.

Two other defendants were sentenced to fifteen and seven years in prison. A sixth defendant, a 66-year-old resident of the city, was sentenced to eight years in prison. She was found guilty of having taken part in the kidnapping by hosting the network's little hands at night in her home, in a locked room.

These little lookouts and dealers said that “the old woman,” as they called her, denounced false escape attempts, which ended in violent reprisals from members of the network.