French police busted an Armenian Mafia group across France, Europol reported today. On Monday, around 200 officers from the Gendarmerie Nationale (French Gendarmerie) and Customs, with on-the-field support by Europol, targeted suspects involved in large-scale criminal activities, including cigarette smuggling, extortion and money laundering.
Over 27 house searches were carried out in Rennes, Gap, St. Etienne, Nancy, Strasbourg, Haguenau, Reims, Chalon-Sur-Saone, Paris, Nantes, Limoges and Brest. As a result, 21 suspects were arrested, including an individual believed to be a high-ranking member of this Mafia group. Some €23,000 euros in cash were seized at the premises, alongside over 2,000 packs of cigarettes, 23 kilograms of raw tobacco and 6 weapons.
The sting follows a lengthy and complex investigation supported by Spanish and German authorities looking into the activities of the Armenian Mafia. The suspects used a special modus operandi were cars were used a mean of payment for further criminal actions. They would exchange drugs or cigarettes against cars.
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