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Drugs in Brest: the amazing interview with the former head of the narcotics brigade – Brest




The most beautiful case solved?

“The Nassim Benantar affair in 2015. I led the investigation, until it was concluded. Enormous work, for six months, day, night, weekend. I lost 4 kg between the start and the end! We had set up 28 wiretaps, and a very specific technique to identify the calls. We even deployed a plane to identify homes. We spent whole nights in surveillance with our submarines. On D-Day, we seized € 276,000 and 115 kg of cannabis resin transported in go fast mode. Between us, the Nantes BRI, the GIPN, there were 100 of us to intervene at the same time in Paris, Brest, Lorient, Rennes and Nantes. Nothing was left to chance, and 26 people were arrested, 22 of whom were imprisoned. A real satisfaction, because this affair showed that we were at the top of the techniques of investigation as regards drug trafficking. But it leaves me with a touch of sadness too. Because Nassim, the head of the network, was an old acquaintance, through football. I was training a team of young people in Gouesnou, and we hit it off. I liked to see him play when he was at AS Brest, before he joined the Monaco training center. The day he was arrested in Rosny-sous-Bois (93), I drove him back to Brest. It was a very strange feeling ”.

The nicest surprise during a search?

“In 2015 or 2016. We had been spinning a Brestois that we had already squeezed in the past for a while. We end up seeing that he rents a house in the town of Plouzévédé, in the countryside. I expected to find a small plantation, but I was far from it. As soon as I stepped over the wall, I saw some plants in the garden. I then rang the doorbell, the man opened and jumped back into the air. He recognized me. Hello the painting! He had a gas mask on, and he was dressed head to toe in a white outfit to protect himself from toxic chemicals. And in the house, cannabis everywhere! It’s quite simple, there was no longer a spare room. “He was screaming: Oh fuck, oh fuck, how did you manage to find me”! He was green ”.

The most folkloric affair?

“We had started trafficking cannabis resin in high schools in Brest. We arrive at the first level of resale between the students. From there, we identify the semi-wholesaler, then the wholesaler then studying in an establishment on the right bank. He was intercepted in class, he had a 5 gram wafer in his bag. We are going to search his home in Plouzané. And there, nothing. No money, no cannabis. However, we knew from the tapping that he had kilos. We say to ourselves that we have lost the game. One last glance at his cell phone. And there, surprise: the guy had been stupid enough to take a selfie with 10 kg of cannabis placed on his bedspread, with tickets next to it! We went up to her room, the bedspread was the same! Sheepishly, he ended up confessing that the drug was hidden in his parents’ wood ”.

The biggest flip?

“I’m not freaked out by nature, but once I got hot in my ears in a sensitive area of ​​Brest. I dressed like the traffickers, all in black, with balaclava, hood and company. My officers were all around the city behind the scenes, while I had managed to get into a garden, and hide behind a hedge. I was five meters from them! I manage to take pictures. But there, big worry, a pitbull arrives, begins to sniff me and bark. I couldn’t move, I had blocked my breathing. And there, I hear shouting: “Come here”! I escaped it narrowly, with the ten loustics next to it ”.

The most unlikely hideout?

“I come back to the Benantar case. We knew from eavesdropping that there was an appointment with a wholesaler at a service station area between Vannes and Lorient, and we had to freeze the transaction in photos. We arrive three hours before to visualize the place. But given the configuration, we immediately feel that a team of pros like them will detach us directly. There were trees around, I noticed a few badly placed, overlooking the parking lots. I play squirrels 20 meters high with a 500mm zoom. The two cars arrive. I trigger in a burst, and I manage to take the delivery of a sample. At the audition, several months later, the guys were incredulous when they were shown the photos. I even had a snap with one of the guys satisfying a natural urge! “.

Biggest miss?

“Three or four years ago. We were working on a team from Brest that went down to Spain, between Barcelona and Valencia. With the means of surveillance that we had set in motion, we really believed in it. In a mountainous corner, we spot the Brest vehicle, with a false plate. Ten days later, we learn that they are coming back up. We activate the civil intervention service of the judicial police of Nantes to intercept them at the toll on the motorway. But at the time of the search of the vehicle, nothing. Was there another vehicle that we did not see? I don’t know, but it hurts. Especially when you meet the traffickers in Brest and they laugh in your face ”.

in complement


“I am not in favor of the legalization of cannabis”

Gilbert Cadiou, former head of the narcotics brigade, at the Brest police station, explains why he is not in favor of the legalization of cannabis

With each presidential campaign, the debate on the legalization of cannabis returns to the carpet. What does Gilbert Cadiou think, who spent sixteen years in the narcotics brigade at the Brest police station, including the last ten as chief? “I am not in favor of it because I do not know of any cocaine or heroin user who has not started with cannabis. For me, this remains the gateway to hard drugs ”.

“The psychological brake will no longer exist”

While he notes that traffickers are gradually abandoning cannabis in favor of cocaine, “easier to transport, but also more lucrative”, Gilbert Cadiou thinks that legalization would only accelerate this trend.

Finally, he recalls that many young people, “for fear of police repression, or because they still respect the authority of their parents, will never use cannabis.” If tomorrow, we tell them that it is allowed, this psychological brake will no longer exist ”.