Marseille: When Drugs Rule

In Marseille, gangs wage a merciless war to control the drug market. The economic stakes are enormous. Drug trafficking generates more than thirty million euros per month and is woven throughout the local economy. Real estate investments, money laundering, luxury boutiques, sports clubs, beauty salons; all sectors benefit. The drug trade has slowly taken over the city of Marseille.

For several months, we followed the men of the Marseille police, the Anti-Narcotics Office, and the specialised squads who work to disrupt the drugs trade. There are about two hundred points of sale for illegal drugs in the heart of the city, some of which generate as much as 100,000 euros per day. The Marseille police are committed to dismantling that network. In the first half of 2021 alone, police arrested 8,000 drug traffickers. 60% of them had weapons, often weapons of war. 

These gangs have transformed the northern neighbourhoods of Marseille into crime empires. To understand how the organisations work, we met some of their members. They belong to very hierarchical structures, managed like legitimate companies. But death is never far away, and among the long list of casualties, there are many innocent people. For families who have lost a loved one, the pain is interminable. They are collateral victims of an increasingly bloody gang war in Marseille.


  • Year: 2021
  • Duration: 58 mins
  • Production: Impala Prod
  • Director: Simon Paul, Ali Watani, Caroline Klein
  • Available Versions: ENG, FRA
  • Country of production: France

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