The DGSE plucked and accused of attempted extortion

Such is taken who believed in taking, goes the saying and the French DGSE knows things about it. Indeed, after having lost millions of euros for lack of flair in the financial investment sector, the French secret services would have been guilty of attempted extortion on a businessman named Alain Duménil. In other words, it is a plucked DGSE who is accused of attempted extortion

Dumenil, a Franco-Swiss ex-banker, administers companies in various fields (luxury, real estate, aeronautical industry, press) and is the former owner of theAGEFI. He has, by one of his misadventures, ended up indicting a former head of French Foreign Intelligence (DGSE), Bernard Bajolet, in this case former director of French foreign intelligence and former CEO between 2013 and 2017. He was indicted last October for complicity in attempted extortion.

Alain Duménil, accuses the DGSE neither more nor less of having demanded 15 million euros from him under duress in Geneva in 2016.

The case began in March of that same year when the 73-year-old Franco-Swiss businessman, compromised in legal cases and commercial disputes relating to the management of his companies in France and Switzerland (bankruptcies) , getting ready to board at Paris Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport on a flight departing for Geneva. At the Air France counter two agents from the DGSE stop him and in an interview lasting a few minutes in a room somewhere in the airport, tell him that he must reimburse 15 million euros to France.

They summon him to tell his council to set terms for repaying his debt and threaten him by showing him photos of him and his family, taken in England and Switzerland. Six years later in October 2022, Bernard Bajolet is heard and indicted. He explains to the investigating judges that he validated the principle of an interview at the airport but did not go into the details of its implementation.

It goes without saying, according to the DGSE and according to the newspaper Le Temps (Switzerland), that ” the names of the services and people in charge of this file, could not be disclosed because protected in this by the secret-defense“.

This is because since the end of the First World War, the DGSE has managed a “private heritage” entrusted to it by the French State. At the end of the 1990s, the DGSE had made unsuccessful investments in a company. In the early 2000s, in an exchange of shares, Alain Duménil became the majority shareholder in this company and sold shares of his holding company to the DGSE, which were subsequently transferred in full to three other companies. The holding company was put into compulsory liquidation and Alain Duménil was charged in November 2016 with bankruptcy.

The DGSE estimates that the guy owes him 15 million euros, including three in interest. Investing in a company is good, investing in a company and doing bad business even if it can happen is not good especially if you work in the shadows. The French intelligence services, which have hidden funds that they have recklessly invested in fragile societies over the past decades, have gambled and lost.

It pays cash! The case, of which Le Monde reveals unpublished elements, through an interview between Guillaume Erner and Gerard Davet, journalist at Le Monde, who signed with Fabrice Lhomme, an investigation in this media and which earned a former boss of the DGSE, to be indicted and to his former chief of staff, General Jean-Pierre Palasset, to “benefit” from the intermediate status of assisted witness in this case.

In front of the examining magistrate, these intelligence figures above all had to lift the veil on one of the best kept secrets of the Republic: What has become of the war chest of the DGSE, these 23 million euros accumulated since a century, then squandered through risky investments?

According to senior officials, it was Duménil who, through unfair financial maneuvers, recovered the assets of the services for his personal benefit. He denies and complains for years about “pressures” from the DGSE… “It’s all racketeering. It’s: ‘Give us some money or else you’ll have bad luck’. I’m not used to giving in to blackmail,” he said..

Still, thehe affair, like a hot potato, rose to the highest echelons of the State. “The President of the Republic was aware of the scam suffered by my service”thus affirmed on Bajolet minutes, appointed to his post, in 2013, by François Hollande.

Solicited by The worldthe latter did not want to engage further, camping on a prudent reserve: “The case you are telling me about is today in the judicial field, which does not lead me to talk about it”. Which can also mean, implicitly, that he had been informed of this story.

For its part, the current DGSE which inherits the management of this file does not budge. She strongly denies it to the World “having made the slightest threat, kidnapping or attempted extortion” against the businessman. “Mr. Duménil is an international racketeer and a criminal who has been convicted in France and is the subject of tax proceedings abroad”we say on the side of the French foreign intelligence services.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Defense (supervisory authority) at the time of the events, did not wish to speak.

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