Officer arrested in Paris police headquarters cocaine robbery

PARIS Sat Aug 2, 2014 7:28am EDT

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PARIS (Reuters) - French police arrested an officer on Saturday whom they suspect of stealing some 52 kg (115 pounds) of cocaine, worth around 2 million euros ($2.69 million), from a locked room inside central police headquarters in Paris.

Police discovered on Friday that the cocaine, which was seized in a raid in July and then kept in a locker inside the headquarters overlooking the Seine river, had disappeared.

Security camera footage helped investigators to identify a man entering the anti-drugs squad's quarters with two bags on the night of July 24 and leaving shortly after, police said in a statement.

Other officers helped to identify the man as a member of the Paris anti-drugs unit and he was tracked down and arrested in southern France, the statement said.

A police source said the officer, 30, had been arrested in the southern city of Perpignan, near the border with Spain, during a raid.

It was the second time this year that the Paris police headquarters at 36 Quai des Orfevres has been involved in scandal.

In April, two officers from an anti-gang squad were placed under investigation after they were accused of having raped a 34-year-old Canadian woman visiting Paris.

The investigation is ongoing.

(Reporting by Nicholas Vinocur and Nicolas Bertin; Editing by Stephen Powell)

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