Suspected of engaging in gold trafficking, which they smelted illegally and exported in the form of ingots abroad via Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport, four men were arrested and placed under judicial control, announced the Bobigny parquet, this Friday.
The prosecution opened a preliminary investigation against the four men, aged 39 to 48, for smuggling and organized gang export of prohibited goods, aggravated money laundering, participation in a criminal association with a view to preparing a punishable offense. ten years’ imprisonment and the performance of covert work.
All placed under judicial control, they are summoned in June to be tried before the criminal court, said this source. Three of them have no criminal record. It took long months for investigators from the Roissy border police to trace this organization, following a first alert from airport customs in July 2020.
Equipped with a one kilo ingot valued at over 53,000 euros which had been handed to him “within the airport”, a traveler was then preparing to take a commercial flight to Dubai, according to the parquet. The investigation led to the discovery of clandestine workshops and the seizure of jewelry, silverware and approximately 72,000 euros in cash.
A second gold smelter arrested
“It’s a gang that collects stolen objects and melts them in an artisanal way. They had a rolling mill to crush chains and make wire, carbon crucibles to put it all in a 1,000 degree oven, and molds. But it was not a super quality gold, “said a police source.
According to the first elements of the investigation, a clandestine workshop tucked away in a shop in the 18th arrondissement of Paris was used as a foundry. The sponsor was in charge of exports, the store manager connecting clients with the undeclared silversmith, and the latter processing and reselling the gold. A second gold founder, who worked in a clandestine workshop in a garage in Pierrefitte-sur-Seine (Seine-Saint-Denis) was also arrested, but had no connection with the alleged sponsor.