Gangs and Kalashnikovs Marseille39s black year

Gangs and Kalashnikovs, Marseille's black year

Christmas Eve. Late night. Rue de Lyon, 15th arrondissement of Marseille. Nordine Achouri, alias Nono, is on the street talking on his cell phone. A car arrives, a gunman gets out and opens fire with a Kalashnikov. The volley hits Nono in the legs, he tries to escape, but the shooter doesn't need much time to “finish” him with more bullets in the head. He then drives off in the car, which is found burned a few kilometers away.

The ambush is difficult. Achouri was not just anyone, for a long time he led the gang of Tower K in the Castellane area, a drug trafficking point that could bring the “managers” at least 20 million euros a year. Nono spent some of it at the casino, on luxury cars, on fine watches and on women. He went to prison after they found three guns in his freezer, served five years and was released. At the moment there are only hypotheses about the shooting: a revenge by a former accomplice, a still open report, personal disputes in the gigantic blood arena of the Mediterranean city.

Second episode. Jean Pierre, 47 years old, another 15th century resident. Physical problems, weak to alcohol, high on drugs. During a routine check it turned out that it was a “mine”. At home, in addition to the hashish, he had an arsenal of AKs, machine guns and ammunition. He told police: “They paid me to keep her, that was all I had to do.” One of the many “guardians” of an increasingly cruel underworld. The year-end budget plan provided by the public prosecutor's office provides information. The Marseilles War.

The year 2023 ends with 49 dead, 120 injured, 150 shootings, about fifty charges and five to six neutralized fire groups. 51 percent of the suspects are between 18 and 21 years old, six minors were killed and several of their peers were turned into murderers. In some cases, they had just come of age and were recruited by traffickers outside combat zones. Some are truly above suspicion, have no direct connection to the world of crime and are hired with good pay.

For investigators, 73% of the crimes are a result of the clash in the area called Paternelle, where the Yoda men and the rivals of the DZ mafia slaughtered each other. At stake is the control of outlets that earn 50,000 to 80,000 euros a day. Each tries to take a piece from the other and executes an “upward” plan. There is intimidation, with warning shots and threats. Even in broad daylight, visible to everyone. Then the second phase: eliminating the pawns. Finally, if necessary, the ambush is set up for followers and sometimes leaders. Some are well protected in safe houses, others prefer to emigrate to the “warmer” places, to North Africa and Dubai. But it's not like they can stay underwater forever, they have to take risks. And the picture is fluid, as Nordine Achouri's ending proves. The untouchables fall under the leadership, if they still exist. Their stories become plots for television series, the latest being on Netflix, Pax Massilia, from director Olivier Marchal.

The judiciary, together with the black data and concerns about Mexican-style deviations, underlines the importance of the investigations carried out. The Interior Ministry has ordered the permanent deployment of the CRS 8 unit, which specializes in public order control, but here it will be switched back to combating drug trafficking. It takes a lot of faith to believe that it can be enough. Last night the counter test. A 22-year-old with a criminal record was killed by machine gun bullets on Rue de Lyon.