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Bayern Munich backs Ribéry over sex charges

Bayern Munich have given their backing to embattled France winger Franck Ribéry, after he and compatriot Karim Benzema were sent for trial for allegedly soliciting an under-age prostitute.

Bayern Munich backs Ribéry over sex charges
Photo: André Zehetbauer

The Bavarian giants' sporting director Matthias Sammer told German sports news agency SID that they were aware of the situation and "we will tell him

that we stand by him and that he will get our best support".

An investigating magistrate in Paris on Tuesday ruled that Ribery, who has played for Bayern since 2007, and Real Madrid forward Benzema would be sent
for trial with seven others over the affair, which broke before the 2010 World Cup.

During an investigation into call-girls frequenting a Parisian bar, Zahia Dehar told police that Ribéry and Benzema paid her for sex while she was 16,
although she said the players were unaware that she was not 18.

Some of those facing trial have been charged with "aggravated pimping".

Soliciting sex with an under-age prostitute is punishable by up to three years in prison and a maximum €45,000 fine.

Ribéry's lawyer told AFP that she was astonished by the magistrate's decision, after a previous judge had said there was no case to answer against
the two French internationals.

Both men have been named in Didier Deschamps' side to play Argentina in a friendly against Argentina in the northern city of Le Havre on Wednesday.

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CRIME

French police seize 2.4 tonnes of cannabis near Bordeaux

France’s Economy Minister has praised the work of Bordeaux law officers, after they seized more than 2.4 tonnes of cannabis resin with an estimated street value in excess of €19 million.

French police seize 2.4 tonnes of cannabis near Bordeaux

Bruno Le Maire and Minister Delegate in charge of Public Accounts Gabriel Attal in a joint statement: “Once again, Customs distinguished itself with an exceptional seizure of cannabis, recalling its key role in the fight against drug trafficking. We congratulate the customs officers for their daily commitment to the protection of our fellow citizens.”

Two people were taken into custody after officers stopped a lorry from Spain on the A63, near the Saugnac-et-Muret toll area, just south of Bordeaux, on Monday.

According to Le Figaro, the drugs were hidden in side compartments of the lorry, and concealed by its stated load of wheat, and were discovered by a sniffer dog during the stop.

In total, 2,414.8kg of cannabis resin and 9.75kg of cannabis herb were intercepted by the Bordeaux brigade, with an estimated value of more than €19 million on the illicit market.

Since the end of July, 2022, Customs officials have seized nearly 73 tonnes of drugs, including 41.2 tonnes of cannabis.

The French drugs squad is now investigating to determine the point of origin of the drugs, as well as their destination and the crime network behind the smuggling attempt.

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