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Marseilles Police 'Corruption': 18 Suspended
The number of French police suspected of involvement in a "deeply corrupt" unit that tackles gang violence has spiralled.
A further 18 officers have been suspended from the unit in Marseilles which operates in one of the toughest areas of the southern city.
It comes in the wake of the indictment of 12 of their colleagues on Friday on charges of extortion and drug dealing.
The latest suspensions mean almost half of the 70-strong Anti-Criminal Brigade in the north of Marseilles is now under investigation.
The case is starting to look like one of the most serious cases of police corruption in French history.
Marseilles' prosecutor has compared the corruption to "gangrene" in the police force.
Most of the officers who have been charged or suspended were arrested last Tuesday.
They are suspected of routinely stealing drugs and cash from dealers and of holding on to cigarettes confiscated from illicit sellers.
The prosecutor who pushed for action against them told an indictment hearing there was "overwhelming" proof of their guilt.