Twenty-one people were arrested in Corsica and the mainland on Sunday as part of a financial investigation into alleged members of the so-called “Petit Bar” criminal gang, a source close to the case said on Monday.
Among these people is Jacques Santoni, the alleged leader of the “Petit Bar”, who has been remanded in custody in Paris, according to sources close to the case and according to his lawyer Pascal Garbarini.
The lawyer represents four other people placed in police custody as part of this investigation led by the Specialized Interregional Jurisdiction (JIRS) of Marseille.
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The companions and relatives of several suspected members of the Petit Bar were also targeted by these arrests, at least eight of which were made in Ajaccio by the gendarmerie.
Wave of arrests
Antony Perrino, entrepreneur and former CEO of Corse-Matin, of which he is still a shareholder, was also placed in custody in this case, we learned from his lawyer, Me Thierry Marembert, and a source close to the file.
These arrests follow a wave of arrests and searches that took place on September 28 in Corsica and Switzerland, as part of the two aspects of the investigation targeting this criminal gang.
In the financial aspect of this case, the investigators are seeking to dismantle the Petit Bar’s international money laundering networks. According to figures put forward by the daily Le Monde, some 48 million offshore and real estate investments have enabled the criminal group to launder its dirty money.
In the other part of the case, the investigation into the attempted assassination of Guy Orsoni, himself prosecuted in various cases of banditry, Jacques Santoni has already been indicted after the September 28 attack.
On September 28, three important members of the Petit Bar gang had escaped the crackdown by the judicial police (PJ), probably due to leaks.
Procedural problems were also noted, which would concern both the island PJ and the Central Office for the Fight against Organized Crime (OCLCO) based in the Paris region, according to sources familiar with the matter.
This had led the JIRS investigating judge to divest the PC to entrust the two strands of the investigation to the Corsican gendarmerie.
A judicial investigation for “violation of the secrecy of the investigation” and an administrative investigation of the General Inspectorate of the National Police were also opened.
Faced with these suspicions, the head of the Corsican PJ was transferred to Paris and saw his authorization as a judicial police officer suspended for 12 months. His numbers 2 and 3 also lost this clearance for four months.