FRENCH businessman Jacques Benoit Fiocconi has been awarded €8,400 in compensation for being imprisoned in Spain while accused of smuggling soap which the Guardia Civil believed to be cocaine.
According to a report from the French site Societe.com, the mistake was due to Fiocconi’s criminal past, whose nickname is ‘The Magician’ (Le Mage), and the fact that he once worked for a time with the cartels and Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.
He was arrested in Spain with his father in November 2011 on suspicion of smuggling cocaine to Corsica. But the 350-kilogramme cargo of soap, which was purchased from a factory in Girona, was simply on its way to the family perfume shop on Corsica where the Fiocconis live.
He was released some ten weeks later when the toxicology reports revealed that cocaine was not present in the samples they had received for testing.
Fiocconi’s time in prison after the wrongful arrest prompted him to claim €83,000 in compensation for economic losses and psychological damage. However, the judge awarded him just €8,400.
His father, Laurent, remained in prison in France because of his connections and his alleged involvement in drug trafficking and the transport of 400 kilogrammes of cocaine between Corsica and Marseilles.