The Criminal Court sentenced them to two to four years in prison.
At 5:20 am on December 15, 2021, customs officers intercept a Mercedes on the Bulu toll road in the direction of Spain-France. The trunk holds 127.5 kg of cannabis pollen. Nabil, a resident of Montpellier who is on board alone, is arrested.
At the same time, a blue BMW with registration number 34 pulls up and turns around when he sees the customs officers. Investigators learn that it was driven by Ilies and belonged to Chaiba’s father, a friend.
The two were arrested on January 11 along with Zakaria, the third resident of Montpellier, whose DNA was found in a Mercedes rented for the occasion.
Ilies admitted to being part of a convoy that returned to France on September 15, specifying that he blocked the road while driving a BMW also loaded with more than 125 kg of cannabis.
Montpellier also explained that the car in which Shaib and Zakaria were, equipped with fake numbers, opened the way for two others. Investigators found a message sent by Chaib to his colleagues asking them to get off the highway before paying the toll, which they did not.
Ilies primarily claimed that Zakaria was the chief of operations. It was the latter who would have asked Ilies to wait for a stranger to come and pick up the cannabis shipment in Figueres after it turned around to Bulu. But Ilies would take the opportunity to hide two bales in the bushes, for which he would come later… in Zakaria’s car!
“I took 300 bottles of nitrous oxide a day”
Isn’t that what aggravated the relationship between the two men? However, Ilies accused Zakaria of shooting him without touching him, hitting him in the head with a rifle butt, and taking his car and phone. Ilies then refused, but confirmed that investigators were receiving threats and were afraid of being killed.
After eight to eleven months of pre-trial detention, the four Pailadins, aged between 25 and 28, appeared before a criminal court this Wednesday. Only Ilies was still in custody in this case. “I took 300 bottles of nitrous oxide a day, I don’t remember anything,” he said. “He has been working since 2015 and has never been convicted of drugs before he became addicted,” said his lawyer Me Mark Gallix.
The investigation showed that members of this group made two trips to Seville, in late August and early September. But, according to Nabil, “the delivery was not ready.” “That says a lot about their organization,” said his lawyer, Me Hayet Jefaflia.
To illustrate this dilettantism, Me Luc Abratkiewicz recalled that Chaib used “his father’s car”. I, Cyril Malgras, said that “there was no evidence against Zakaria in this case.” He specifically recalled “that a dog that specializes in detecting drugs found no smell of cannabis in the trunk of a BMW.” The gray areas surrounding this movement did not prevent the conviction of the four men.
The two defendants were not present at the hearing.
“It’s still insane that two defendants (out of four) are missing from the deliberations.” On Wednesday, the presiding judge could not contain her surprise.
Zakaria, who was sentenced to 4 years in prison, and Nabil, who was sentenced to 30 months in prison, left when the sentence was passed. As a result, an arrest warrant was issued against the two men.
Ilies and Chaib received 30 and 24 months in prison respectively. All four were accused, in particular, of a criminal community, drug smuggling and other offenses.
On the other hand, Zakaria, Chaib and Nabil were exempted from supplying or selling drugs.