The Bordeaux prosecutor's office requests a dismissal of the case for the former head of the fight against narcotics

The Hambli affair, named after this major drug trafficker recruited as a source by the Central Office for the Fight against Illicit Drug Trafficking (OCRTIS), has just experienced one of the first legal developments favorable to its former director François Thierry

The Bordeaux prosecutor's office requests a dismissal of the case for the former head of the fight against narcotics

The Hambli affair, named after this major drug trafficker recruited as a source by the Central Office for the Fight against Illicit Drug Trafficking (OCRTIS), has just experienced one of the first legal developments favorable to its former director François Thierry. . Indicted in August 2017 for complicity in drug trafficking, he has continued to claim since then that he never protected the illegal trade of his informant, whose only mission was to ensure the logistics of transportation of cannabis from Morocco to France on behalf of Moufide Bouchibi, another trafficker, whom OCRTIS wanted to bring down.

On December 12, the Bordeaux public prosecutor's office discharged François Thierry by requesting dismissal of the case against him. In September 2022, the Lyon magistrates, seized of another part of the case, had a different interpretation of the investigation methods of the former head of the fight against drugs by deciding to refer him to an assize court for public forgery and destruction of evidence.

François Thierry endeavored, during the investigation targeting him, to explain the police strategy called “Myrmidon” and initiated by OCRTIS in 2010, consisting of “detecting as early as possible the flow of goods destined for the national territory to follow its progress as closely as possible and challenge (…) the sponsors after receipt of their products via the targeted recruitment of human sources who operate in Morocco, Spain and France in the logistics activity of trafficking.

“A golden spring”

By the admission of François Thierry’s superior, Philippe Veroni, Sophiane Hambli was “a golden source”. According to the OCRTIS count, when the affair broke out, this “golden source” had enabled the seizure of more than “60 tons of cannabis, the identification of several dozen experienced criminals, the elucidation of a dozen settling of scores and more than a hundred arrests.” By working hand in hand with a trafficker of this level, did OCRTIS compromise itself to the point of becoming complicit in the importation of narcotics onto French soil for the benefit of its informant?

If the information transmitted to the judicial authorities during deliveries monitored by his service is deemed “incomplete” by the Bordeaux public prosecutor’s office – a way for François Thierry to “unilaterally retain the choice of the investigation strategy and the opportunity for prosecution not falling within his duties” –, the prosecution notes that the “framework applicable at the time of the facts did not require it”, which “constituted a fragility of the system in determining the competent judicial authority”. According to her, the former boss of OCRTIS cannot therefore be prosecuted for “complicity by abstention, the existence of the escalation of narcotics having been reported beforehand, even at a minimum”.