MARIGOT–A major on-going control of garages by the Gendarmerie is under way on the French side on the orders of the Vice-Prosecutor.
The operation started Thursday morning and has seen controls of garages in Marigot, Rambaud and French Quarter. Commandant Sébastien Manzoni indicated last night that seven garages have been controlled to date.
“We are checking everything, that is to say the administrative aspects i.e. the documents, the authorization, the environmental aspects of the garage’s operation, how cars are repaired, and checking of course for stolen cars and evidence of trafficking or recycling of parts,” Manzoni explained.
The operation is being conducted under Comité Operationel Territorial Anti-Fraude (COTAF).
As many as 70 persons are involved in the operation, directed by Capitaine Emmanuel Maignan. They include some 40 Gendarmes, 12 immigration and border control officers from Police aux Frontières (PAF) and personnel from the Préfecture or other State services.
A helicopter has also been used for the overhead view to ensure no persons or vehicles escape during the controls.
Manzoni said there have been no arrests but many infractions detrimental to the environmental laws were recorded as well as instances of mismanagement. Several guilty parties will be summoned to explain themselves.
At least 12 cars were confiscated and towed away for various reasons, such as unknown origin or possibly stolen. Car wrecks are also supposed to be taken to the eco-landfill to the special car de-polluting facility located there, Manzoni added.
Friday evening a control was in progress on the Lagoon side of Hameau du Pont where many cars were located, some in the process of being towed away. This control apparently was not well received by residents in the area.
The Commandant noted this kind of operation has been revived after a lapse of many years.
“Meetings in the coming days with the Prosecutor after gathering all the information will determine what fines are appropriate for the offenders,” he said.
The operation is expected to continue in the coming days.
Source: Daily Herald
Several cars towed as Gendarmerie cracks down on unregulated garages