AND HERE IS THE NEWS….
a weekly update of the local news
WITH CAROLINE HILL
Marine LePen in town. The president of the National Front was in Perpignan this week to support Louis Aliot in his bid to become Mayor. She gave a hard hitting 30 minute speech on the subject of immigration to a crowd of some 1500 voters at the Palais des Expos.
Drug traffickers arrested – Police investigating a drugs ring involving the sale of Cocaine and Cannabis around Canet, Perpignan and Cabestany have arrested 3 young men, aged in their twenties. Items believed to have been bought with the illegal proceeds were also seized, including two cars, 2 motorbikes, a computer and a plasma tv.
Is winter over? – Despite the fact this week has felt exceptionally warm and sunny, Meteo France assure us that there is nothing to get excited about as it is just 3° above normal – which for this time of year should be around 16° in the shade. Apparently the lack of rain is more significant – it rained three times less than normal in January (21mm instead of 65mm) and February appears to continuing the trend. (Obviously this article was written last week before yesterday’s downpour…)
Unhealthy vegetable delivery – Customs officers at Le Perthus have discovered a large cache of drugs hidden in a lorry full of cauliflowers. The 34 year old Spanish driver admitted that he had been offered 5,000€ to let the drugs be hidden in his lorry, and drive to Belgium where he was to have called the contact number on a mobile telephone given to him by the dealers. He was sentenced to 4 years in prison and fined 423,200€, being the estimated value of the 211kg of drugs.
Argeles Hotel Murder trail – Two men faced trial this week following the discovery of a body in a cupboard at a hotel in Argeles in May 2010. To the anger of the victim’s family, the men refused to give any details as to why 55 year old Jean-Marie Kleinbauer was found tortured and strangled. One was sentenced to 20 years for murder, the accomplice to 3 years for ‘non-assistance to a person in danger’.
Reconstruction of Robbery – A reconstruction of a violent robbery which took place at a tabac in Moulin-a-Vent in May 2012 has been carried out this week, with the ‘accused’ taking centre stage. On the day of the robbery the ‘accused’ entered the shop holding a gun, and when the shop-keeper defended himself with a can of tear-gas, fired a shot – and was only saved by his quick-thinking wife who pulled him out of the way. During the reconstruction a protest was held by a group of tobacconists calling for tougher punishments for robbers.
Fire destroys Maison Sociale – Fireman called out in the early hours of Thursday morning were unable to save the Maison Sociale at Vernet-Salanque in Perpignan. An investigation is undersay but arson is suspected.
Fatal crash near Toulouges – A head-on crash on Monday afternoon between two cars on the RD612 main road between Thuir and Toulouges resulted in one death and two injuries, one said to be serious. The stretch of road (near the speed camera) was closed for several hours as one of the occupants had to be cut from the vehicle. The cause of the accident is not yet known.
Dogs kidnapped and tortured – (warning, this is not pleasant to read) – In the past fortnight at least 6 pure-bred dogs have been taken from their gardens in the village of Pia. One, a black Shar-Pei was found dead at a roundabout in Perpignan having been thrown from a car, a Staffordshire terrier was found haemorrhaging blood having been sadistically abused, 2 breton spaniels were found emaciated and traumatised at the bottom of a well in St. Laurent de Salanque, and one dog was reunited with her owner having somehow managed to escape but was also emaciated, dehydrated, bleeding and had obviously been drugged. A full investigation is underway and residents are warned to keep an eye on their pets.
Car plunges into ravine at Llauro – Two young occupants were lucky to escape with their lives when their car skidded off the road between Llauro and Oms and plunged 5 metres into the ravine. ‘Luckily’ they hit a tree and the 19 year old male driver was able to climb up to the road and call for help. Emergency services had to winch the 17 year old female passenger up to safety and she was helicoptered to hospital suffering from abdominal injuries.
And finally …….
Other supermarkets are available – Just two weeks ago an armed robbery attempt on Carrefour City Supermarket in Perpignan was foiled by the heroic antics of an employee (who just happened to be a martial arts professor). This incident was well documented in the local paper (and here) but the story obviously did not come to the attention of a 16-year boy who walked into the same supermarket last Saturday evening brandishing a handgun and demanding the contents of the cash till. Sadly L’Independent does not disclose whether the Kung-Fu expert was on duty that evening but just describes how the shop assistant managed to single-handedly overpower the ‘cagouled’ robber and hold him until the police arrived.
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