Luxury car fraud: new consequences in metropolitan area France

The investigation, which opened in Saint-Pierre, of a major scam involving luxury cars has identified consequences in the French mainland, where the brother of the former mayor of a northern city, Serge Gayot, has also been indicted.

Police officers from the Saint-Pierre Finance Brigade, acting at the request of an investigating judge, never cease to unravel the key to a large-scale scam involving credit unions mainly related to the purchase of luxury vehicles through documented documents.

The investigation, which was opened in May 2019 in the southern part of the island following a complaint from Sorefi, which had financed the purchase of two vehicles for an amount of 124,900 euros, was soon to be enriched with similar reports that made it possible to establish the existence of “a network of clever crime, the purpose of which was to obtain loans or financing of luxury cars, partly sent to the French mainland or to Guinea.” Quickly, 13 victims were identified for injuries estimated at 1.1 million euros.
Arrested at the wheel of one of the vehicles, an Audi Q8 worth 113,000 euros, Alex Tchatchoua, 38, and his companion are placed in police custody. Saint-Pierrois, known for a few drug cases, will soon be joined by a third character whose face appears on fake identity documents to obtain credit.

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The man’s name is Serge Gayot, he was 52 at the time. Under the veneer of respectability – he worked in Réunion in real estate, passed through the CBO Territoria or Soliha Reunion – this former mayor of the town of Marchiennes in the north pulls a few pans home from the French mainland. In particular, convictions for breach of trust and embezzlement of public funds, where the latter had provided him with a penalty for lack of eligibility in the 90s.

In June 2020, all three were charged with fraud and attempted fraud in an organized gang in a period between January 2016 and June 2020, during which the two men were placed in custody.

Others suspected of identifying

A fourth alleged accomplice will be indicted during 2020. A resident of Reunion who is sometimes responsible for recovering identity documents on the French mainland and also serves as a nominee for credit unions.

And last February, a new twist. It is now proven that the Agrefin are not only located in Réunion and that they have relays on the French mainland. The investigation indicates that Serge Gayot’s own brother, Benjamin, was also involved in certain facts through his bank accounts. Which in turn prompted him to be indicted in June last year.

It is this latest development that, in addition to a supplementary indictment, served to justify on Tuesday yet another continued detention of Alex Tchatchoua. The man, described as “rather intelligent and manipulative”, considered by the investigating judge as “instigate”, the central character of the file, though the latter denies it.

But it seems that Serge Gayot’s confession, quicker to speak in front of the police, benefited him. The former elected representative from the Nordic countries was also released under judicial supervision in February last year.

Adverse treatment of Alex Tchatchoua, whom his lawyer complained to the Chamber of Inquiry. “The report has changed very little in six months and I do not see why my client would not enjoy the same reasons of release as the other defendant after already 16 months in custody.”begged Me Julien Barraco.

For the Advocate General, however, continued detention has been sentenced “important”, “given the many facts, their complexity and these new consequences on the French mainland, for which there are still people to identify and consult.”

The file of beautiful car scams may not have delivered all its actors yet.

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