French drug dealers print police car numbers on T-shirts

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French drug dealers have developed a novel way of alerting their accomplices to police surveillance by printing T-shirts with the registration numbers of undercover cop cars, police in Marseille said Monday.

Crime squad officers in the southern port city found a bag full of such T-shirts Saturday when they inspected a car whose driver had abandoned his vehicle after being pursued by police, a police source said.

Officers also found half a kilogram (one pound) of cannabis in the car where the T-shirts were found -- emblazoned with the numbers of cars used by crime squad police, the source said.

By distributing the shirts with numbers printed on them, drug dealers apparently aimed to help one another identify and avoid undercover police.

A police trade union representative said: "Until now dealers would graffiti our (car) numbers on walls or print insulting slogans on sweatshirts, but this is a bizarre variation."

© 2010 AFP

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