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Australian woman charged in France over 2016 disappearance of Frenchman

French police have charged an Australian woman over the 2016 disappearance of a Frenchman she allegedly shared a hotel room with in Andorra, an informed source said Monday. The woman had been arrested at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport last month.

Australian woman charged in France over 2016 disappearance of Frenchman
Andorra. AFP

The woman has been charged with the “kidnapping, arbitrary detention and abduction” of the man, named as 31-year-old Florent G, her defence counsel Simon Despierre told AFP.

Relatives of the missing man from the western city of Nantes had requested the case be kept out of the public eye after the woman was arrested on November 28 at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport, the source said.

Despierre said the 59-year-old was formally placed in detention two days later after questioning.

The circumstances of the case remain unclear.

Florent G was last seen at a hotel in Andorra and his family reported him missing after he did not return to France from the small landlocked country in the Pyrenees mountains, the source said.

He was said to be a proponent of “woofing”, a practice that allows tourists to work on a farm in exchange for room and board.

There is no indication of how he came into contact with the Australian woman, reportedly a doctoral student in architecture who stayed with him in the hotel, according to the Nantes daily Presse Ocean.

“Later, she would say she saw the door of their room open and traces of blood inside and that she did not know what could have happened to her companion,” Presse Ocean reported.

“She told the examining magistrate she did not harm Florent G,” Presse Ocean added.

The Nantes public prosecutor declined to comment on the ongoing case.

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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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