Two students, Charles Bruyneel, a 22-year-old studying trade negotiations, and Arthur Basset, a 21-year-old on licensing, were arrested for trafficking massive amounts of narcotics in Caen, France.
According to police information, on October 6, 2016, a death by overdose led to an investigation resulting in the detention of the two suspects. Law enforcement authorities claim the two accused persons started trafficking narcotics two years ago. Officials also added that the duo sold around 10,000 ecstasy pills and 4 kilograms of marijuana in total, making 10,000 euros in profits per year. On November 24, both of the defendants were sentenced to three years in prison (two suspended).
On February 14, law enforcement authorities arrested six other suspects regarding the current case. The accused persons are aged between 19 and 23 and are believed to be resellers of the two convicted criminals. According to police information, the defendants, from La Manche, Lisieux, and Caen, are consumers who “like to help friends”. They ordered narcotics from the dark web, which were delivered by the national postal service, and sold them at rave parties. One of them made over 1,500 euros in profits at a rave party, however, he had to pay back 900 euros to the two main suspects.
Due to the lack of information, it still remains a question whether the two main suspects bought the narcotics they sold from the dark web. Since they sold massive amounts of drugs to their customers, it could be possible that they sourced the substances from dark net vendors who advertised bulk quantities of narcotics.
In January, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian issued a nationwide warning on cyber attacks directed at civil infrastructure providers, including electricity, water, telecommunication, and transport. According to him, these companies may face security issues in the future. The announcement was made after the Ministry of Defense reported that it blocked over 24,000 external attacks in the past year. Le Drian described the attempts as sophisticated hacker attacks, and warned the important infrastructure providers to be aware of the increasing cyber attacks and to be ready to deal with such breaches.
“We should not be naive [thinking France could not face a cyber attack]… The number of cyber attacks against my ministry doubles every year. In 2016, about 24,000 external attacks had been blocked by our security services,” Le Drian said in an interview with French weekly Journal du Dimanche.
Electricity and water providers store most of the French citizens’ personal data, which can be extremely valuable if hacked, breached and sold to third party institutions that may use that information in illicit criminal activities. The Ministry of Defense wants to prevent that from happening.
Le Drian believes it is time for both state-supported organizations and commercial corporations to lead major improvements in their infrastructures and security systems to prevent the loss of data in the future.