Thief helps Paris police snare ‘Corsican gangster’

A man alleged to be one of Corsica's most notorious gangsters was behind bars on Friday after being arrested by chance thanks to a thief plying his trade on one of the poshest streets in Paris.

The 40-year-old, widely known as Rachid the Corsican, had parked his car on the Rue du Faubourg St Honore, famous for its designer boutiques and just up the road from President Francois Hollande's Elysee Palace.

Minutes after he had left the 4×4, police caught a thief trying to break into it red-handed, and what initially looked like a mundane crime took an unexpected twist when the officers discovered several guns in the vehicle.

The owner, who turned up shortly afterwards, was found to be carrying another gun and a search of his Paris flat produced more weapons, grenades, explosives and balaclavas.

The man and his partner, who runs a Corsican wine bar just off the Champs Elysees, were both detained in custody.

He has been charged with illegal possession of weapons and membership of a criminal gang, judicial sources said on Saturday.

Corsica, a spectacularly beautiful island with a population of just 300,000 people, has one of the highest murder rates in the developed world.

Last year alone there were 20 still unexplained homicides which have been linked to feuds between rival criminal clans in an underworld that is entwined with sections of the island's nationalist movement.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Frenchman extradited to US on hacking charges pleads not guilty

Frenchman Sebastien Raoult pleaded not guilty to cybercrimes Friday in Seattle federal court, two days after he was extradited from Morocco.

Frenchman extradited to US on hacking charges pleads not guilty

Federal Judge Michelle Peterson told the 21-year-old Raoult that he was charged with nine counts, including conspiracy, computer intrusion, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Raoult listened through an interpreter.

After Raoult’s plea of not guilty, the judge ordered him to be detained as a flight risk until a hearing April 3.

Moroccan authorities arrested Raoult at Rabat airport May 31 at the request of the US Department of Justice. Along with Raoult, two other French nationals were also arrested, Gabriel Bildstein, 23, and Abdel-Hakim El-Ahmadi, 22.

According to Raoult’s indictment, he and the other two men are alleged to have formed a hacking team, dubbed “ShinyHunters,” to steal confidential data from 60 companies to sell on the dark web where criminals routinely operate.

Some of the companies are located in the Seattle area.

According to experts, beginning in 2020, the hackers stole customer data from the Indonesian e-commerce site Tokopedia, the US clothing brand Bonobos, the US telecom AT&T and many other companies, putting the personal data for sale on the dark web.

The criminal charges carry a possible jail term of up to 27 years in prison.