A man is being held in police custody after confessing to the murder of two female police officers at the weekend.

"/> A man is being held in police custody after confessing to the murder of two female police officers at the weekend.

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CRIME

Suspect confesses to double police murder

A man is being held in police custody after confessing to the murder of two female police officers at the weekend.

Suspect confesses to double police murder
Frederic Bisson

Le Parisien newspaper reports that Abdallah Boumezaar will be charged over the deaths of Audrey Berthaut and Alicia Champion.

The two women were killed late on Sunday night when Boumezaar opened fire in the southern town of Collobrières.

He fired two shots at 35-year-old Audrey Berthaut after seizing her weapon.

He then chased 29-year-old Alicia Champion down the street and fired a further six shots.

Boumezaar was with a 20-year-old woman who got involved with the initial argument with her officers. She is also being held in connection with the murders.

New interior minister Manuel Valls visited Collobrières on Monday and met the families of the two women.

“The country will have the opportunity in the next few days to pay its respects to these two officers and to show its gratitude,” he said. 

A ceremony will take place on Friday with the minister attending.

The suspect’s brother told journalists on Monday that Boumezaar was “out of control.”

“He killed police officers but he could have killed my mother, my sister or me,” he said. “He’s someone who has spent a lot of time in prison. I spoke a lot to him, tried to get him back on track. I tried to spend a good chunk of time with him when he came out of prison to stabilise him.”

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CRIME

French police break-up fake Bordeaux wine ring

Police investigating drug-trafficking in south west France have broken up a counterfeit Bordeaux wine ring following an eight-month investigation.

French police break-up fake Bordeaux wine ring

Prosecutors said that 100 gendarmes were involved in an operation to arrest up to 20 suspects in seven départements after the fake wine scam was discovered when fake wine labels were discovered by officers investigating a drugs ring. 

During searches, a dozen vehicles and, “a large volume of wine” were seized, they added.

They estimated that several hundred thousand bottles of Spanish wine had been passed off as being from the Médoc wine region of France.

Investigations involving a dedicated police unit revealed “a large-scale fraud organised by the owner of a vineyard in the Médoc”, police said, who obtained wine via “Spanish contacts”, bottled it at night and put fake labels on the bottles.

The fake wines were then sold “by the pallet” in several areas via “a network of official and unofficial distributors made up of companies, pensioners and self-employed people”, according to prosecutors. 

Orders amounting to several thousand bottles were sent abroad, with customers believing they were buying Bordeaux chateau wines at bargain prices, prosecutors said, when the bottles really contained “low-end wines …. from remote areas”.

Three suspects, including someone described as the ‘main instigator’ appeared before an examining magistrate on Wednesday and was charged with a variety of offences linked to fraud.

A source close to the case told AFP that the counterfeiting targeted mid-range Médoc wines, which are easier to counterfeit than the grand crus. 

“If the facts are proven, we hope that the perpetrators will be heavily condemned because these practices harm the image of Bordeaux wines and the image of all those who work well and respect the rules,” reacted the Interprofessional Council of Bordeaux Wine contacted by AFP.

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