In extensive drug raids in numerous French cities, investigators arrested 7,177 suspected dealers within six months. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said 3.6 tons of drugs, hundreds of weapons and 11.3 million euros in criminal money were confiscated during the total of 482 raids.

Police operations under the name “Place Nette” (clean place) should continue. They are part of a strategy launched last summer that aims to eliminate around 4,000 drug sales points in the country. For this purpose, police officers are deployed around the clock at the appropriate locations in the cities for a longer period of time.

The missions are intended to arrest drug dealers and prevent them from starting their business again after a short police operation a few meters away. Drug gangs operate particularly in the high-rise developments of many large cities in France and make life difficult for the other residents.

There are always violent clashes between gangs in which even uninvolved people lose their lives. The situation is particularly problematic in the port city of Marseille, where 49 people died in drug-related violence last year.

An unusual arrest occurred on Sunday during a drug raid in the small town of Avallon in Burgundy. There, investigators discovered 70 kilograms of cannabis in the mayor’s home. The head of the town hall was arrested, the broadcaster France Info and other media reported, citing the police. A pharmacy run by the mayor was also searched.