On the run for 20 years, the brother of Sofiane Hambli, one of the biggest French drug traffickers, was arrested completely by chance in early January during a customs check in the Doubs, AFP learned on Friday January 14 from a source close to the case.
Read alsoMore than 200,000 people implicated each year for drug use and/or trafficking since 2016
The suspect was checked by customs officers on January 1 at a rest area on the A36 motorway, near Pelousey (Doubs).
He had in his possession more than 10,000 euros and presented false Swiss identity documents.
He then refused to give his real identity, but the dissemination of his photograph allowed French investigators to recognize him as the brother of Sofiane Hambli, said the same source.
An open judicial inquiry
The Besançon prosecutor's office opened a judicial investigation for "
possession of false administrative documents
" after the control of a 43-year-old man who had presented false identity documents, on January 1 on the A36 in Pelousey (Doubs), indicated the prosecutor of Besançon, Étienne Manteaux. The suspect was remanded in custody.
This man is, in all likelihood, wanted for 20 years for important acts of drug trafficking
," added the prosecutor, without however confirming the identity of the forties.
He was tried in absentia and sentenced in 2007 in Mulhouse to eight years' imprisonment for importing narcotics with members of his family
", he continued, stressing that "
this person had so far never been arrested
Read alsoDrug baron Sofiane Hambli arrested in a clinic in Morocco
His brother, Sofiane Hambli, a high-flying drug trafficker, was arrested in October after several months on the run, in a clinic in Tangier (Morocco) where he had been admitted after being attacked in the streets of the city.
Originally from Mulhouse (Haut-Rhin), Sofiane Hambli, 46, has a heavy criminal record.
He is the key figure in the scandal of the importation into France of seven tonnes of cannabis in 2015, which resulted in the ousting of the ex-boss of the fight against drugs François Thierry.