<figure> <img src="https://cdni.rt.com/files/2018.10/article/5bb60990fc7e93084b8b4609.jpg"> <figcaption>Emmanuel Macron speaks to an inhabitant of Quartier Orleans on the French Caribbean island of Saint-Martin / <span class="copyright">AFP</span></figcaption> </figure> <strong>The ‘middle finger’ affair has a new twist after it was unveiled that the young man posing with Emmanuel Macron in the notorious picture in Saint Martin was likely close to a leader of an armed gang controlling the cocaine market.</strong> The photo-op of Macron with locals at Quartier Orleans in late September has already become a hit in the French media. Yet all eyes were on the pictures of the centrist politician with two bare-chested men.
One of them confessed to the 40-year-old president that he had problems with the law and that he even spent time in prison. The fact didn’t surprise Macron at all and he told the young man to leave his troubled past behind him. The president’s reaction, however, angered social media and a number of politicians.
Le Parisien decided to dig a little deeper into the man’s past and found out some embarrassing details. The paper claims that the man, identified as Reaulf Flemming, was close to a leader of an armed gang controlling a cocaine market from neighboring Guyana.
Middle finger affair’: Macron lands in ’embarrassing’ picture controversy
Flemming was arrested back in 2015 for robbery and was sentenced to five years in prison. He has been recently released.
In the meantime, the second man in the photo turned out to be Flemming’s cousin. He is the one who posed with the middle finger and, due to him, the whole photo op was branded as ‘The Middle Finger’ affair, in a nod to the notorious Benalla affair which involved Macron’s protester-beating bodyguard.
Flemming, who, after posing with the head of state, started giving interviews to French media, explained that his cousin made such a gesture just “for style.”
In another interview he admitted that talking with Macron’s gave him “great motivation” and he was even thinking of working as a plumber. “The president said he would help me find work and help my sick mother,” he said.
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