PARIS: Malaysian police have taken in for questioning a leading figure in conspiracy circles who is wanted in France over the kidnapping of an eight-year-old girl, sources close to the case said yesterday.
French prosecutors last month issued an international arrest warrant for Remy Daillet who has reportedly lived illegally in Malaysia for several years.
The sources said the Frenchman, 54, was arrested over his residency status and could be expelled or the authorities could use the warrant, which entails a far lengthier procedure.
The girl, identified as Mia, was taken in mid-April from her grandmother’s home in France by several men in her mother’s employ.
Six men and the mother were indicted over the abduction following an intense five-day search that ended in Switzerland.
According to some of the men, the mother’s associates were anti-system activists who claim that children in care are unfairly taken from their parents.
Mia’s mother had lost custody of her daughter and was no longer allowed to see her alone or speak with her on the telephone.
Investigators believe Daillet, known to police as a proponent of extremist conspiracy theories and a populist takeover of the state, may have helped organise the abduction.
Daillet is a former regional leader of France’s centrist MoDem party before he was excluded in 2010.
After the kidnap Daillet posted a video.
“Big media is trying to discredit us as much as possible by accusing me of setting up abductions,” he said.
“Our organisation returns children kidnapped by the state to parents, at their request. There was absolutely no kidnapping.”
In earlier videos, he has supported the idea of a coup d’etat and voiced opposition to taxes, vaccines and masks.
Mia was returned to her grandmother’s care.