Soap Not Dope: Man Earns Compensation After False Arrest And Imprisonment in Spain

Back in 2012, a man and his father were arrested and thrown in jail in Spain after the Spanish civil guard found a van-load of what they thought was smuggled cocaine, but wasn’t.

The French businessman, Jacques Benoit Fiocconi, and his father Laurent were arrested and thrown in jail in Girona, Spain after the Spanish civil guard found a van load of what officers thought was smuggled cocaine, hidden in a shipment of fragrant soap. Turns out the shipment was definitely fragrant soap, not dope. Now he is seeking compensation for his false arrest and imprisonment.

The Telegraph reports that back in 2012, Fiocconi and his father were traveling on the AP-7 motorway through Spain, heading towards France in a van, packed to the roof with 2,850 bars (350kg) of fragrant soap.

Fiocconi’s father, Laurent, was apparently previously known as being an associate of the legendary Colombian drug lord, Pablo Escobar. This infamous relationship is what caused the problem.

Basically, what the pair had done was buy the soap, not dope, from a perfume factory in Figueres, Girona with the idea of selling it on the French island of Corsica, which is Fiocconi’s home.

However, their van was stopped on the motorway and reportedly when the civil guard officers ran a “narcotest” on five of the bars of soap, they tested positive for cocaine and father and son were instantly thrown in jail.

Fiocconi and his father then languished in prison for two months from November 23, 2012 to February 4, 2013, waiting for the toxicology results to come back. Once the results were in from the National Toxicology Institute, it was clear that there was no trace of cocaine in 72 bars of the soap that were tested. The cargo was, indeed, soap, not dope, and Fiocconi was released from incarceration.

According to the Local, his father Laurent, however, wasn’t so lucky as it turned out he was implicated in a separate investigation involving drug trafficking between Corsica and Marseille.

Now, two years later, Fiocconi has requested compensation from the Spanish Ministry of Justice for his false imprisonment and for compensation for moral damage and economic losses during his jail time. The Frenchman requested €83,000 ($90,000) from Spanish authorities but was only awarded a standard figure of €8,400 ($9,150) instead, or approximately €120 ($130) per day spent in incarceration, plus interest. Not quite as good compensation, but definitely worthwhile when you consider it was soap, not dope, that got him in trouble in the first place.

Fiocconi has probably learned that shipping goods in the company of a drug-related relative is not such a good idea, even if what is shipped is definitely fragrant soap, not dope.

Meanwhile, the Inquisitr reports on the story of a woman who was not so lucky. She was caught at Gatwick airport attempting to smuggle $270,000 worth of cocaine in her bra.

[Image: CC BY-ND 2.0 Al Howat]