Authorities have arrested a French policeman caught with a bag full of explosives in Paris. He may be charged with arms trafficking, according to Le Figaro, and has been suspended from active duty.
The officer aroused suspicion when he became “angry and defensive” after he was confronted by customs officers on his way through Paris’ central Gare de Lyon train station the day before Christmas Eve. When his volatile cargo was discovered, he tried to escape into the holiday crowds and had to be captured and restrained by multiple agents.
He was held and interrogated for over 96 hours, then finally charged with transporting explosives, arms, and ammunition without authorization, misappropriating military goods or weapons, resisting arrest, and obstructing the duties of a customs officer.
The policeman was reportedly an expert in handling explosives, though his motives for carrying military-grade ordnance through a major Paris train station at the height of the holiday rush remain obscure. Given the charges, Le Figaro believes he may be involved in arms trafficking.
The national gendarmerie confirmed the officer has been suspended from his post. He was recently rotated from Maisons-Alfort to Calais, where he reportedly works with a squad tasked with rousting illegal migrant encampments.
Paris, like many European cities, is on high alert during the holidays after previous years have brought terror attacks and threats. Over a dozen people were shot and two killed at a Christmas market in Strasbourg earlier this month, and the US State Department has warned tourists traveling to Barcelona to expect an attack “with little or no warning” during Christmas or New Year’s.
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