The underside of the José Anigo affair, between suspicion of extortion and settling of scores

Football and big money, banditry and settling of scores: at 59, is José Anigo caught up with his old demons?

The former sports director of Olympique de Marseille (OM) escaped, Wednesday October 28, imprisonment in the wake of his indictment on October 4, for “criminal association with a view to preparing an extortion and a intentional homicide in an organized gang ”. The investigative chamber of the Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeal (Bouches-du-Rhône) has indeed confirmed his placement under judicial control, which the Marseille prosecutor’s office had appealed, claiming his placement in detention provisional by “Security measure”. But José Anigo, left free, will however have to pay a deposit of 100,000 euros, a sum ten times greater than the amount initially set by the judge of liberties and detention in Marseille.

At the end of September, the former OM coach and manager had hastily left England, where he was negotiating with the Nottingham Forest club to renew a recruiting contract to return to Marseille. Expected at the Bishop’s Palace, the police station, by investigators from the banditry repression squad, he was immediately taken into police custody.

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A few hours earlier, the police had just operated a large net after a year spent listening to and monitoring a criminal team, “the band of Capelette”, named after a district of Marseille. Born with the rise of narcobanditism, this gang was preparing a whole series of criminal projects: extortion of a restaurant and a beach establishment in La Ciotat (Bouches-du-Rhône), robbery of a jewelry store in Marseille, launch a cocaine scooter delivery service with a Snapchat account… and, it seems, two settling of scores.

Avenge Adrien

In a flood of wiretaps coupled with the sound system of the apartment of one of the pillars of the team, Yohan A., known for robbery, investigators see the pattern of extortion. They believe that José Anigo would have charged “young people of the Capelette” with the recovery of all or part of a commission to which he claimed after the transfer from OM to the Lille team of Isaac Lihadji, 18, hope French football.

In this survey which is still in its infancy, it is therefore a question of a sum of one and a half million euros to be recovered from Christian B., the boss of a nightclub in Aix-en-Provence who had detected the talents of Isaac Lihadji when he was 12 years old, and co-managed his early career with José Anigo, so that he was integrated into OM.

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