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Aviation Club de France Raided By Police in Paris; 12 People Taken Into Custody

Aviation Club de France

Approximately 12 people were taken into custody by the police after a raid at the Aviation Club de France (ACF) in Paris, one of Europe's most iconic gambling clubs.

The operation, which started in the early hours of Tuesday, was carried out by the races and games division (SCCJ) of the French national judicial police (DCPJ) upon an order that came from Claire Thépaut and Serge Tournaire, judges at the Grand Instance Court in Paris.

Accusations against the ACF reportedly move from irregularities in the employment of a part of its personnel to money laundering.

When contacted by PokerNews, the Judicial Police refused to discuss the details of the operation, though a representative from SCCJ has confirmed that a number of people were taken into custody by French authorities.

According to France's daily Le Point, the police took into custody several employees of the room as well as the ACF Director of the Games Committee Marcel Francisci, who is also an important Corsican political figure close to France's former President Nicholas Sarkozy and Vice President of the South Corse General Council.

"Police were there by 6 a.m., when there were about fifty people still inside the ACF rooms," an employee of the room told AFP. "Most of them were Chinese players, who also happen to be surveyed by the financial police."

"It's a blow," said another employee. "It's done for us! That's 200 people out of work tomorrow ... [the police] came to close the circle not for a simple control."

The ACF was founded as a members-only gambling room in 1907, and it then open its doors to the general public in 1925. After poker was added to the room's offer in 1995, it quickly became one of France's most representative poker rooms, and it has hosted a large number of international events including some World Poker Tour stops.

Stay tuned to PokerNews for more information on this story as it develops.

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