Crime in France

News, information and statistics about black market crime in France. Data about security risks and threat assessments about crimes in France are collected from public criminal justice information and intelligence reports.

According to police in Paris, there are between 300 to 400 vendors in Paris who sell trinkets to tourists around the Eiffel Tower during the summer season. Police state that Chinese gangs import souvenirs from China and then sells the goods to other sellers.

In a raid by police in July 2013, authorities discovered 60 tonnes of miniature Eiffel Tower replicas that were to be sold to tourists.

(More crime in France statistics.)

Source:  Alexandria Sage, “60 tonnes of Eiffel Tower trinkets seized in Paris,” Reuters, July 25, 2013.

Customs Officials in France seized around 200,000 counterfeit items being shipped into the country in 1994.

In 2011, the number of counterfeit products seized by Customs increased to 8.3 million.

According to officials, 70 percent of the fakes originate from Asia. One-third of the orders for the fake goods were placed on the Internet.

France losses up to €6 Billion to counterfeit goods each year. Based on the exchange rate as of June 2013, the losses in US dollars is $7.9 Billion.

(See ranking of counterfeit goods by losses.)

Source:  “France destroys one million fake goods,” Channel News Asia, June 12, 2013.

A high-priced escort working as a prostitute in Cannes, France during the 10 day film festival can make up to $40,000 a night, according to a man who was arrested for running a prostitution ring in the city.

(More earnings from under the table jobs.)

Workers at hotels in the area claim that between 100 to 200 prostitutes stroll within the areas large hotels during the film festival each night in search for customers.

(See prices of prostitutes around the world.)

Source:  Dana Kennedy, “$40,000-a-Night Escorts: Secrets of the Cannes Call Girls,” Hollywood Reporter, May 8, 2013.


In 2011, criminal justice agencies in the European Union seized 2.1 million counterfeit toys.  According to a breakdown by Toy News, five countries in the EU accounted for 57 percent of those seizures.

Top five EU member states where fake toys were seized in 2011:

1. Romania:  319,174 counterfeit toys seized.

2. Germany:  308,506 counterfeit toys seized.

3. France:  212,273 counterfeit toys seized.

4. Spain:  193,149 counterfeit toys seized.

5.  Bulgaria:  181,838 counterfeit toys seized.

Source:  Dominic Sacco, “Romania is counterfeit toy capital of Europe,” Toy News, April 18, 2013.

In addition to smuggling illegal immigrants in to the United Kingdom, human smugglers also move people out of the country.

According to the BBC’s Panorama program, smugglers charge immigrants up to $2,373 (£1,500) to transport people out of the UK and bring them to the French port city of Calais. The immigrants them move on to other countries within the European Union.

(Price rate for human smugglers.)

Source:  Kevin Rawlinson, “Criminal gangs are smuggling immigrants out of the UK,” Independent, January 21, 2013.

The French Government estimates that there are 20,000 prostitutes working across the entire country. Between 5,000 to 8,000 prostitutes work in Paris, and an estimated 600 street prostitutes work in the city of Lyon.

A parliamentary report released in 2011 stated that 80 percent of the sex workers in France were victims of human trafficking, and that 90 of the prostitutes were foreign women.

In 2002, there were an estimated 15,000 prostitutes working in France.

(Number of prostitutes in the world.)

Source:  Angelique Chrisafis, “How prostitution became France’s hottest social issue,” Guardian, September 24, 2012.

Source of 2002 figure: John Lichfield, “Foreign prostitutes flood into France,” Independent,July 14, 2002.

A study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, cocaine use in cities in Switzerland is among the highest in Europe.

Everyday, up to 1.5 grams of cocaine is consumed by every 1,000 citizens in the Swiss cities of Bern, Geneva, Lucerne and Zurich.

In other European cities such as Barcelona, London, Milan and Paris, between 0.5 to 1 grams of cocaine is used by every 1,000.

Norther European cities had the lowest reported levels of cocaine use, with Stockholm, Oslo and Helsinki registering 0.15 grams of cocaine use daily per 1,000 residents.

Across Europe, up to 356 kilograms of cocaine is consumed each day, which is 10 to 15 percent of the total global cocaine consumption.

Source:  AFP, “Cocaine use in Swiss cities among highest in Europe: report,” Google News, August 6, 2012.

In 2011, police seized 8.9 million counterfeit goods items in France. Half of the products that were seized within the country was luxury goods items, such as clothes, sunglasses, and cosmetics. Louis Vuitton products were the most counterfeited items seized by authorities in France.

France losses up to $8.5 Billion a year to counterfeit goods.

Source:  AAP,”French luxury brands fight back against fakes,”, May 30, 2012.

Up to 4,000 football players from Africa are believed to have been trafficked from Africa to France, according to a report by Sky News. An average of 20 African footballers are trafficked to France each week, with up to 2,000 being sent to Paris.

One licensed FIFA agent was caught selling football players in Cameroon for $40,000 (25,000 British Pounds).

(More human traffickers prices.)

Source:  Ashley Hammond, “Activist: Greater awareness can curb player trafficking,” Gulf News, April 23, 2012.

Between 2009 and 2011, the French agency that administers the three strikes law in France against music piracy sent out 822,000 emails to people suspected of illegally downloading music. The agency then sent 68,000 second warnings by mail to uses who were continuing piracy.  Out of the second warning letters, 165 cases were forwarded and counted as the third strike, where courts are now able to impose a $2,600 (2,000 Euros) fine and suspend the users Internet connection for a month.

A study by two universities in the United States found that the three strikes policy lead to an increase of $5 Million (3.8 Million Euros) in sales for Apple’s iTunes in France during the period. The researchers reported that sales of commonly pirated genres such as hip-hop rose after the policy was put in effect, while sales of less pirated music such as Christian and classical music remained the same.

The agency in Franc that administers the policy, Hadopi, employs 70 people and has an annual budget of $92 Million (70 Million Euros).

Source:  Eric Pfanner, “Copyright Cheats Face the Music in France,” New York Times, February 19, 2012.