The rise of mafia risk in France, a neglected reality

VSis the story of the tree that hides the forest. The Minister of Justice, Eric Dupond-Moretti, multiplies the acts of communication on the Agency for the management and recovery of seized and confiscated ets (Agrasc) to criminals convicted by the courts. The Keeper of the Seals even makes it the symbol of the commitment of the public authorities against an organized crime capable, in Belgium or the Netherlands, of destabilizing the States. “It’s a virtuous circle starting from the seizure of the property from criminals until its social reattribution, he explained, Worldthe 3 of March. If you hit the wallet, it’s not at all the same thing; it’s a real punishment. »

It is true that Agrasc has the merit of embodying, for the general public, the fight against organized crime. A godsend for a political time that requires immediate responses to problems requiring substantive work. The auction sessions of the seized goods make the “one” of the media. Beautiful villas, sports cars and luxury watches are sold and bring money to the state. The year 2022 recorded more than 771 million euros in seizures.

What attract the attention of a minister in search of visibility, ready to put the power of the state machine at the service of this agency. The workforce of Agrasc has increased from forty-five people in 2020 to eighty-three in 2022, and regional branches have been opened in the jurisdictions of all the specialized interregional jurisdictions (JIRS) in the fight against organized crime. On the surface, everything contributes to reuring the good administration of public funds and the will of the government.

Rebalancing the legal game

But this intense communication from the Minister on Agrasc raises questions among those involved in the fight against organized crime. While the sale of criminal ets is a step forward, it alone cannot define public policy. The pillars of this fight, often magistrates, have constantly alerted the ministry to the mafia risk in France.

Also read the column: Article reserved for our subscribers Reform of the judicial police: “A real regression in the fight against organized crime”

On February 7, Bruno Sturlèse, outgoing president of the National Commission for Protection and Reintegration, known as “repentants”submitted a report to Eric Dupond-Moretti describing a device in “state of existential crisis”. This essment pleaded for a “Political reappropriation and a global overhaul of the system, so as not to be disarmed in the face of the major challenge of the fight against mafia excesses”.

Supposed to become the lethal weapon against organized crime, the status of repentant, created by law in 2004, but in force since 2014, gives the right to physical protection and promises penal indulgence to a person who makes it possible to avoid an act criminal or to identify the perpetrators. The text was to rebalance the legal game between a sophisticated mafia phenomenon and a State with unsuitable common law rules. Nine years later, there is nothing.

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