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French ex-spy jailed for selling police data on darknet

A French court on Thursday sentenced a former French intelligence agent to five years in prison for selling confidential information from police files in hidden corners of the internet.

French ex-spy jailed for selling police data on darknet
Photo: STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / POOL / AFP.

The 35-year-old former police officer, who worked for the DGSI domestic spy agency, sold fake ID cards, driver’s licences and birth certificates on the so-called darknet, which offers users total anonymity.

The agent, who called himself “Haurus” online, also sold bank documents, phone records and GPS coordinates for tracking specific individuals for between 100 and 300 euros, paid in bitcoin.

One of his clients was a member of the Marseille underworld who used the information to trace individuals, some of whom were later found dead.

The former agent pleaded guilty to most of the charges and was barred from working in the public service for the rest of his life. He told the court that he began his darknet business to pay off debts and that it gradually became an “addiction.”

But he maintained that he never sold intelligence information.

READ ALSO French justice minister charged over conflict of interest

He was arrested in September 2018 after the authorities received an anonymous tip. An investigation found that 90 percent of his internal information requests had nothing to do with his work, and that he had been living the high life, staying in ritzy hotels on numerous vacations.

His companion, accused of complicity in the scheme, was sentenced to three years in prison, two of which were suspended.

His Marseille client was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.

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PARIS

Paris police rescue handbag robber from river Seine

Paris police on Tuesday fished a man out of the Seine river, which he jumped into after he rammed a car into a Valentino store and robbed dozens of luxury handbags.

Paris police rescue handbag robber from river Seine

The 24-year-old suspect smashed into the store around 2am on the high-end Rue Saint-Honoré, a police source said.

He grabbed as many as 30 luxury handbags and other items before attempting to flee in the car.

The man then failed to stop when a police patrol gave chase after spotting him near the central Paris Opéra.

He abandoned the car on Place de la Concorde at the end of the Champs-Elysées, the police source said, before plunging into the nearby river Seine.

But river police quickly fished him out and placed him under arrest.

A source familiar with the case said that the “entirety” of the stolen items had been found.

A second source told AFP that “around 30” handbags – which Valentino lists on its website at between €1,000 and €3,000 – were found in his car.

The suspect now faces an investigation for charges including aggravated robbery and refusal to comply with police, Paris prosecutors said.

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