France’s ‘isle of beauty’ hit by fifth murder

Corsica may be known as the 'island of beauty' but its violent crime wave reared its ugly head again on Sunday when a man was gunned down in a bar. It was the fifth deadly shooting on the island since the start of the year.

France's 'isle of beauty' hit by fifth murder
Forensic officers examine the scene of Sunday's shooting. Photo: Pascal Pochard-Casbianca/AFP

In the latest apparent gangland murder on the island, gunman or gunmen burst into a bar in the middle of the village of Venaco, in the centre of the Island and shot dead 37-year-old Jerome Salvadori,

Salvadori, who was shot in the back and stomach, was known to the police, French media report.


Detectives recovered a car and a torched scooter 150 metres away from the crime scene. Police are certain the killer/s used one of the vehicles, before fleeing the scene.

The murder comes amid high tensions on the Mediterranean island with last year’s deadly violence, which saw 19 murders and 16 attempted killings, continuing into 2013.

Among the five people gunned down so far this year in Europe's "Murder capital" was nightclub boss Dominique Laorenzi, who was shot dead while driving in the Corsican capital Ajaccio on February 14.

Two weeks later a farm worker was shot dead outside his home in the north of the island and earlier this month 38-year-old Anthony Gaillot, well known in Corsica’s criminal underworld, was shot on the terrace of a bar in the coastal town of Sainte-Lucie de Porte Veccio, in the south of the island.

In all over 100 people have been killed since 2008 on an island known for its outstanding beauty and an ever-popular tourist destination.

In June the island will become the focus of the sporting world when it hosts the Grand Depart of the 2013 Tour de France.

Thousands of cycling fans are expected to descend on Corsica, as well as hundreds of journalists as it hosts the first three stages of the Tour’s 100th edition.

Speaking to the Local at the official launch of the Tour De France last year, Paul Giacobbi, head of the Island’s executive council believed the recent crime wave would not affect the race.

He also called on the government to take strong action to the help tackle the island’s notorious criminal underworld.

“This is not just a problem for Corsica, it is a problem for France,” he said.

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French police bust cross-Channel people-smuggling ring

French police have busted a major people-smuggling ring that has been sending migrants to Britain in dinghies, with more than a dozen boats and 700 life jackets seized in a raid, French authorities said Thursday.

French police bust cross-Channel people-smuggling ring

The ring was run by Iraqi Kurdish migrants and had a logistics hub in Lille, a northern French city about 100 kilmetres (60 miles) from the northern Channel beaches around Calais that are used for crossings.

Three Iraqi men have been charged, along with three French suspects after their arrest on Monday.

Police discovered “a real factory supplying nautical equipment” in Lille, the head of French anti-migration agency Ocriest, Xavier Delrieu, told AFP.

In what was their biggest ever seizure of equipment, they found 13 inflatable boats, 14 outboard engines, 700 life jackets, 100 pumps and 700 litres of fuel, Delrieu said.

The group is suspected of having organised 80 Channel crossings over the summer, of which 50 succeeded, with the smugglers netting around €80,000 for each one.

The arrests came due to intelligence-sharing between authorities in Belgium, Britain, Germany and the Netherlands, who are all trying to crack down on migrants crossing the Channel by boat.

The original tip-off came after a border guard control discovered a group of French youths carrying inflatables from Germany into the Netherlands.

More migrants have crossed the Channel to the UK from northern France so far this year than in the whole of 2021.

So far this year, more than 30,000 people have been detected crossing the Channel to the UK, fresh government figures showed Thursday. On Wednesday alone, the authorities detected another 667 people.

Britain’s new prime minister, Liz Truss, has faced some criticism from other Conservatives and in right-wing media outlets for not pressing for more French action against the crossings when she met President Emmanuel Macron in New York on Tuesday.

Downing Street said the issue did not come up at their talks on the margins of the UN General Assembly, which instead focused on common ground including Ukraine and energy security.

The crossings are among a host of issues that have badly strained Franco-British relations in recent years.