The meagre means of France's anti-corruption agencies

The extent of political and financial corruption in France has been highlighted by the scandal-plagued French presidential elections, with two of the frontrunning candidates, conservative nominee François Fillon and the far-right challenger Marine Le Pen, engulfed in graft accusations. Following the case of Jérôme Cahuzac, the socialist budget minister tax-fraud tsar who, Mediapart revealed, held a secret foreign bank account over two decades, several new anti-corruption agencies were created to fight a seemingly endemic problem. But, in a series of interviews with Mediapart, investigators and magistrates denounce a dire and crippling lack of resources.

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Night descends on the city and up on the heights of a city skyscraper are large offices humming with computers and IT systems, complete with eavesdropping software, where a group of about 60 specialist police investigators are working on a major political corruption case involving hundreds of millions of euros. Down below in the garage, cars are readied for a series of dawn raids and arrests.