Theo, a man whose claims of police brutality in Paris’s heavily migrant populated suburbs last year sparked riots, and several members of his family were arrested this week for defrauding the government.
The main case revolves around Theo’s brother, 34-year-old Mickaël Luhaka, who was arrested at his home in the Parisian suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois on Tuesday along with Theo and two other brothers. The brothers were arrested under suspicion of “organised fraud, breach of trust, and money laundering”, Le Parisien reports.
The investigation has focused on three associations connected to Luhaka which received hundreds of thousands of euros from the French government for subsidised employment contracts. It is alleged that those hired were never paid by the associations and that the money went to relatives of the 34-year-old instead.
From January 2014 until June 2016 one association alone, the Aulnay Events association, was given €678,000 from the government; of that amount, €170,000 was transferred into the bank accounts of eight different family members including Theo who is alleged to have pocketed €52,000.
Experts Claim Paris Youth Whose Story Sparked Riots Was Not ‘Raped’ by Police https://t.co/IA9utqepFo
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 20, 2018
Theo became well-known across France last year following an incident in which he was arrested and claimed that a police officer had penetrated his rectum with a baton. The story soon sparked riots across the suburbs of Paris which lasted for nearly two weeks.
Earlier this year, several reports came out contradicting Theo’s story including CCTV footage that showed inconsistencies with his story and a report from experts who claimed that there was no way that the police officer involved in the incident could have purposely targetted Theo’s rectum during the arrest.
Antoine Vey, lawyer for Theo, expressed anger at this week’s arrest commenting: “There is a will to harm and tarnish Theo’s image. They want to mix the two cases, that of the police violence of which Theo was a victim and this financial affair with which has nothing to do with him.”
“Theo received some money for a job he did in the association. It’s a simple and ordinary story. The association has received money to organise sporting events,” Vey added and noted he was concerned that being in jail could impact Theo’s health.