Frenchman jailed for 30 years for killing in-laws over ‘Nazi gold hoard’

A French man has been sentenced to 30 years for killing four of his in-laws with a crowbar after becoming convinced they were hiding a hoard of gold from him.

Frenchman jailed for 30 years for killing in-laws over 'Nazi gold hoard'
The family were killed in their home in Orvault, near Nantes. Photo: Sebastian Solom Gomis/AFP

The punishment for Hubert Caouissin, 50, fell short of the life sentence demanded by prosecutors, as the jury accepted his lawyers’ argument of diminished responsibility following seven hours of deliberations on Wednesday.

His former partner Lydie Troadec, 52, was sentenced to three years in jail, one suspended, for interfering with a crime scene and concealing a corpse.

Caouissin had already admitted to killing Brigitte and Pascal Troadec, both 49, and their children Charlotte, 18, and Sebastien, 21, at their home in Orvault near western city Nantes on the night of February 16th-17th 2017.

He then spent three days painstakingly dismembering the bodies at his farm, throwing muscles and organs into the bushes in the hope that they would be eaten by animals and burning skin, bones and fat in an oven.

Caouissin was convinced that Pascal Troadec had concealed a family fortune in gold ingots, supposedly a fraction of the reserves transferred from the Bank of France to Canada at the beginning of World War II that had later been discovered in Brest.

He claimed he had visited the family in Orvault to demand “information” on the supposed hoard, and killed his victims in self-defence.

His lawyer Thierry Fillion said the accused was suffering from “chronic paranoid delusions” that have been confirmed by psychologists and psychiatrists.

Defence lawyers urged jurors not to lock Caouissin up for life based on the diagnosis.

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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.