11 years in prison for the drug lord on the run

Hitherto elusive figure of Lyon and Stéphane banditry, Rachid Belayati was sentenced to 11 years in prison and a 100,000 euros fine by the Lyon Assize Court on Tuesday. He was tried for drug trafficking in an organized gang. Nicknamed “Bulb Head” because of his baldness, he was described as the “main person responsible” for a network of cannabis imports from Spain to the Lyon region.

“Time passes, the judges pass, his responsibility remains”, summed up Advocate General Eric Mazaud in the morning, demanding 12 years in prison and a fine of 300,000 euros against the accused, aged 49. Arrested on March 25, 2019 in Spain, the native of Rive-de-Giers (Loire) opposed the verdict pronounced by default in 2007, sentencing him to 15 years of criminal imprisonment.

Large cannabis shipments

The case concerns the logistics of nine cannabis convoys organized between 2002 and 2004, including a stock of 950 kilos of cannabis resin seized by the judicial police in a hangar in Corbas, near Lyon. “It was a time of change in the Lyon environment. The traffickers started with go-fast then they used trucks, less conspicuous on the motorway, ”described Philippe Betton, former group leader at the Lyon narcotics brigade at the helm.

Rachid Belayati is “the central hub of the network, the sponsor”, insisted the attorney general, repeating the terms of the judgment of the Saint-Etienne criminal court, which recently sentenced Belayati to eight years’ imprisonment for other facts. traffic. For Eric Mazaud, Rachid Belayati participated and organized supervised conveyances, in a network made up of three suppliers and several storage places.

Still according to the Advocate General, “this immensely lucrative profession” has fueled a luxurious lifestyle, notably with the construction of a villa in Algeria. Rachid Belayati disputed the estimates of his supposed fortune, believing that the investigators had not taken into account the exchange rate between euros and dinars.

“A lonely nomad” according to his lawyer

“I was only an intermediary”, repeated the accused to the magistrates. In an empty courtroom, he relativized his level of involvement, explaining that he had participated in imports “to repay the debts” of a group of accomplices, arrested during a first wave of arrests .

“He is a solitary nomad who has lived for 25 years between France and Algeria,” pleaded in defense Me Roksana Nazersadeh. No additional fact appeared in other investigations during his run, he is not in recidivism, nothing justifies an excessive sentence “beyond ten years”, estimated the penalist. For the lawyer, it is another unidentified character, nicknamed “the Boss” in the file, who was the real supplier of the network.

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