An anti-crime squad in the southern French city of Marseille has been shut-down due to alleged widespread corruption.
Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced the closure after twelve officers appeared in court on Friday:
“There is no place for those who tarnish the uniform of the police, which is an honour for those who wear it,” he said.
Jacques Dallest from the prosecution appeared shocked as he explained how the officers abused their powers to deal in illegal goods:
“The recovery of drugs from dealers and their vehicles; the recovery of cigarettes and money; illegal search practices; sharing of money and drugs. All of that happened regularly and for a long time.”
The news comes a month after French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced an extra 205 police officers to tackle deadly gang violence in Marseille following a wave of shootings related to the illegal drugs trade in the Mediterranean coastal town.