PARIS: French police on Wednesday arrested a leading figure in conspiracy circles for the kidnapping of an eight-year-old girl in April, as he returned to the country on a flight from Singapore after living in Malaysia .
Rémy Daillet, who was traveling on the Air France flight with his pregnant partner and his three children, was immediately arrested on his arrival at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, said an airport source, who requested anonymity.
The kidnapped girl, identified as Mia, was taken in mid-April from her grandmother’s home, who had custody of it, in eastern France by several men employed by Mia’s mother.
Investigators believe the kidnapping may have been organized by extremist activists led by Daillet who believe children in care are being unfairly taken from their parents.
He can now appear before a judge north of Paris to be remanded in custody or could also be quickly transferred to the eastern city of Nancy to be questioned and charged for the kidnapping by an examining magistrate.
Daillet, 54, and his family were arrested in late May by Malaysian authorities after their visas expired. Kuala Lumpur then begins the process of deportation to France.
But the process was delayed on Sunday during a stopover in Singapore where Daillet’s companion was hospitalized. Her lawyers argued that she was unfit to travel.
Ten people, including the mother, have been charged with the kidnapping following an intense five-day search that ended in Switzerland and seven of them are currently under arrest.
Mia’s mother had lost custody of her daughter and was no longer allowed to see her alone or speak to her on the phone.
Daillet is known to police as a supporter of extremist conspiracy theories and a populist takeover of the state.
After the kidnapping, Daillet posted a video in which he said his organization “returns state abducted children to parents at their request.” There was absolutely no kidnapping ”.
In previous videos, he has supported the idea of a coup and expressed his opposition to taxes, vaccines, 5G and masks.
French prosecutors in April issued an international arrest warrant against Daillet, who had lived in Malaysia for several years. His detention because of his residency status accelerated the deportation process.
Daillet is a former regional leader of the French centrist party MoDem before being expelled from it in 2010.
Mia was placed in the care of her grandmother.