The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, announced on Friday, September 8, the creation of a "national investigation unit" on "the model of the CRS 8", this unit specializing in the fight against urban violence, to combat drug trafficking, which he compared to "the Battle of Stalingrad".
In an interview with Le Parisien, the minister believes that we must "be much more offensive in the field of investigation, on investigations, despite the incredible work of the investigation services". “We have to contain the octopus. This is the Battle of Stalingrad,” he added.
The new unit, made up of "a hundred personnel mixing police and gendarmes", will be operational in "the next few weeks", it was specified in the entourage of Mr. Darmanin. It is a question, it was explained, of being able to project these investigators for several weeks in a city, a place, where the traffic is significant, as the government does with the CRS 8 to "clean up the deal points" like in Nîmes recently.
“With dogs, investigators specializing in money laundering, and technological means, these investigators will support local services to carry out large-scale operations, either in response or in prevention,” the minister argued during his interview.
“It goes beyond cleaning up a deal point because it involves dismantling networks and defining targets,” insisted Mr. Darmanin. “Our challenge is to continue strengthening the judicial system to take in-depth action and put these criminals out of harm’s way in the long term,” he continued.
The Minister of the Interior gave no indication of how the action of this unit will be linked with the office dedicated to the fight against drug trafficking (Ofast), which already has national competence and has local branches.
This announcement comes in a context of an upsurge in bloody settling of scores, mainly in Marseille but also in cities, such as Nîmes, hitherto not well known for being in the grip of territorial battles.
According to the Agence France-Presse count at the beginning of September, around forty people have been killed in Marseille against the backdrop of a turf war between traffickers since the start of the year, including around ten in the month of August alone, i.e. well beyond the 31 “drug-related” gunshot deaths recorded by the Bouches-du-Rhône police headquarters for the whole of 2022.