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1,700 arrests made in ongoing drug raids in France


French police have detained 1,738 people in numerous raids on the drug scene across the country in recent days.

“We will continue the anti-drug operations,” France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced on Saturday afternoon in Saint-Denis near Paris. Drug trafficking is to be eradicated, he added.

During the operations over the past 10 days or so, €2.4 million ($2.6 million) have been confiscated. The forces also seized 150 kilograms of drugs, mainly cocaine and heroin.

In Paris and the Seine-Saint-Denis district north-east of the capital alone, more than 300 people were taken into custody, Darmanin said.

The minister said that the fight against drugs must not only be conducted in the area of security, but education, the fight against addiction and the question of parental responsibility also played a role.

The police raids, dubbed “Tidy Place” in French, are part of a strategy launched last summer with the aim of eliminating the approximately 4,000 drug sales points in the country.

Police officers are deployed around the clock at the relevant locations in the cities for an extended period of time. They are to arrest drug dealers and prevent them from starting their business again a few metres away after a brief police operation.

Drug gangs are particularly active in the high-rise housing estates of many large cities in France and make life difficult for the other residents. Violent clashes between gangs occur time and again, resulting in the deaths of innocent bystanders.

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