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Laurent Fabius' son in custody on fraud charges

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The file photo shows Thomas Fabius, son of French Foreign Minister Laurent FAbius. (AFP photo)

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius' son has been arrested as part of a police investigation into forgery and money laundering.

Thomas Fabius, the eldest son of Laurent Fabius, was taken into custody on Tuesday, his lawyer and police sources said.

Thomas’ apartment in the French capital, Paris, was also searched.

An investigation into Thomas Fabius' financial affairs was initially opened in 2013, with police paying extra attention to his purchase in 2012 of a 280-square-meter apartment in a smart area of Paris. He paid seven million euros for the apartment and this had raised concerns over possible money laundering.

After the probe opened two years ago, Thomas’ lawyer said the apartment was purchased by “a deposit and a bank loan.”

The 34-year-old son of Laurent Fabius is named as an “enfant terrible” (terrible child) by French media. Earlier this year, a local weekly, Le Point, revealed that Thomas is wanted in the United States for unpaid casino bills.

According to police in the US state of Nevada, Thomas wrote checks totaling over $3.5 million to cover his gambling debt in a casino in Las Vegas on May 15, 2012, only hours before his father became the foreign minister.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Thomas in May 2013 and he would be arrested immediately after setting foot anywhere in the US.  

Following the revelation, far-right leader Marine Le Pen called on Laurent Fabius to step down as French foreign minister.

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