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CRIME

Search for French girl missing from wedding to wind down

Authorities searching for a nine-year-old girl who went missing from a wedding in the French Alps plan to scale back their efforts, having found no sign of her since her disappearance last month, a source close to the inquiry said Tuesday.

Search for French girl missing from wedding to wind down
French gendarmes search a forest for the missing girl. AFP.
Maelys de Araujo vanished in the early hours of Sunday, August 27, in the southeastern village of Pont-de-Beauvoisin, where she was attending a wedding with her parents.
   
A 34-year-old local man, who was among the guests, was remanded in custody on September 3 on charges of “kidnapping, illegal confinement or arbitrary detention” after the girl's DNA was found in his car.
   
But despite an extensive search effort, no sign of her has been found. The suspect has denied any wrongdoing, saying Maelys briefly got into his car with another child and later returned to the wedding party.
 
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Search for French girl missing at wedding intensifiesMaelys de Araujo. AFP.

Searches of the nearby Chailles gorges in Savoy were ended on Tuesday, the source told AFP, while a search of a nearby lake will continue Wednesday.
   
“We're exhausting the possible areas where we could have results,” the source said, saying searches would now be carried out based on any progress in the investigation.
   
The disappearance of Maelys caused shock in the tranquil Isere region of mountains, woods and lakes.
   
Sniffer dogs lost her scent in the car park outside the wedding venue, raising fears she was kidnapped and whisked away by car.
   
Scores of police search and rescue teams, divers and cavers have combed the area for signs of her, while officers questioned all the wedding guests.

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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