At least four recent gangland killings are connected to a multibillion euro carbon trading fraud that has cost taxpayers about €5 billion in VAT.
It was a classic French gangland operation. The killers drew up alongside their victim on a scooter as he walked through an affluent district in west Paris, shot him dead with a 7.65 pistol and then disappeared into the traffic.
Police originally assumed that the murder in September of Samy Souied, a French underworld boss, was linked to drugs, gambling or prostitution.
Now, officers believe it was the result of a very different racket – one involving the fight against global warming.
Detectives in the French capital are convinced that at least four recent unresolved killings are connected to a multibillion euro fraud that targeted the Europe Union’s carbon dioxide trading scheme.
The disclosure comes amid a flurry of court cases across Europe involving gangs who exploited Brussels’ environmental policy to make lucrative gains.
Europol, the European Police Office, estimates that they cost taxpayers about €5 billion in VAT.