Anti-Drug Addiction Educator Revealed as Head of French Drug Trafficking Network

Drug Related Deaths

A French court in Marseille has convicted 19 people belonging to a drug selling network that was led by a man who specialised in educating people about drug addiction.

The 19 members of the network were handed down sentences of between 12 months to nine years in prison and were believed to have turned over as much as 15,000 euros selling drugs to at least a hundred customers every single day, Europe1 reports.

The network operated out of the Felix Pyat City neighbourhood, a collection of low-income housing blocks that are widely regarded as one of the poorest in all of France where around half of the residents live below the poverty line. The area is also known for its large population of individuals from migrant backgrounds.

The head of the drug network was revealed to be 36-year-old Fathi Ganzouai who was labelled the “big boss” or the “little godfather of Félix-Pyat” by the prosecutor in the case. Working by day as an anti-addiction educator, he was sentenced to nine years in prison along with a 50,000 euro fine for his role leading the network.

The network was also believed to have engaged in violent attacks on rival drug networks within the city that ultimately led to the murder of a young man belonging to a rival gang in November of 2017 and a shooting that targetted another man in 2016.

The bust of the network comes as gangs in France have become not only more violent but have also been found in possession of military-grade weapons.

Last year in Paris’s heavily migrant-populated no-go Seine-Saint-Denis suburbs, police raided a gang which possessed an anti-tank rocket launcher, high-powered explosives, shotguns, and various quantities of drugs.

In the city of Paris, underage Moroccan migrant criminal gangs have also become a problem for authorities, resulting in them recently teaming up with Moroccan police who flew to the French capital to help identify gang members and facilitate their deportation.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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