Il a le bras long.
ee lah luh brah LAW. Click below to hear the sound file!
He has connections.
Literally: He has a long arm. Does he have a physical defect? Is he half ape? Nope.
In English, we speak of the long arm of the law. It reaches everywhere, touches our lives wherever we go. In French, it’s an individual who “has a long arm”.
It could be a way to describe your source when you say J’ai des tuyaux. Maybe he’s a stand-up guy who knows everyone and is generous with the referrals, a real networker out to help people. Or maybe he’s a crook! You can’t tell from the expression itself. It’s all in the context, and how you say it.