Dubai: Dubai Police have arrested a French druglord known as ‘the Ghost’, a ‘wanted’ criminal for drug trafficking and smuggling operations in Europe.
Moufide Bouchibi, the 39-year-old international narcotics kingpin, had been on the run for ten years, travelling under a false identify.
Dubai Police succeeded in arresting him depsite the fact that the only photo they had of him was taken 20-year ago. The French druglord became a global trafficker, smuggling between 50 to 60 tonnes of cannabis to Europe every year with an estimated annual value of €70 million (Dh302 million).
According to Dubai Police, the arrest came after a red-corner notice was issued in 2021 as Moufide, also nown as ‘Mouf’, had entered the UAE impersonating someone with official travel documents.
Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, said the arrest is yet another achievement resulting out of the cooperation between Dubai Police and international law-enforcement agencies towards ensuring global security and safety.
Major General Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs at Dubai Police, said a team of elite officers was assigned to the task.
“After exchanging information with the French authorities concerned, the Data Analysis Centre at Dubai Police located the drug lord and monitored his movement until he was arrested,” Maj Gen Al Mansouri said.
Ten years of life on-the-run
Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jallaf, Director of the Criminal Investigation Department at Dubai Police, said ‘Mouf’ became a global drug trafficker and was a ‘wanted’ criminal for ten years.
“In 2015, the Bordeaux Court sentenced Bouchibi to 20 years in prison. For many years, he remained on the run and managed to escape arrest. French detectives had only a photo of him taken 20 years ago,” Brig Al Jallaf said. Dubai Police were able to identify Mouf’s location by analysing available data, pictures and videos.
According to Dubai Police, ‘Mouf’ was using false identities and had not made a single transaction or purchase under his real name since his arrival in Dubai. “He was like the invisible man, which was a big challenge for our teams,” Brig Al Jallaf said. However, Dubai Police did not reveal when ‘Mouf’ had arrived in the UAE. “As soon as our officers conclude their investigation, Bouchibi will be referred to the Public Prosecution for extradition.
Global appreciation for Dubai Police
Jérôme Bonet, Central Director of the French Judiciary Police, lauded Dubai Police’s commitment to the fight against international drug trafficking and organised crime. He praised the close cooperation between the French Anti-Narcotics Agency (OFAST) and Dubai Police that led to the arrest of Bouchibi.