Dubai arrests kingpin of notorious ‘Angels of Death’

By Eudore R. Chand

Taghi was operating from a villa in Dubai

DUBAI 17 December 2019: Dubai Police yesterday announced the arrest of Interpol-listed international fugitive 41-year old Ridouan Taghi.

Described as a dangerous criminal by Dutch police, Taghi is the leader of ‘Angels of Death’, a criminal cartel operating in Europe and Africa. Dutch authorities had announced a financial reward of €100,000 for any information that could lead to Taghi’s arrest.

The arrest of the accused, who was staying in a residential villa in Dubai, was made possible through a successful cooperation between Dubai Police, the Netherlands police and Interpol.

Dubai Police said several international arrest warrants were issued against the accused last year on charges of belonging to a criminal cartel.

Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police praised the professionalism of Dubai Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and its instrumental role in making the arrest possible. Effective cooperation between Dubai Police and Dutch authorities was also key to the success of the operation.

Fake Passport

The Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police said that the suspect entered the country through Dubai International Airport using official documents, which included a passport and visa that were not his own. Coming from the Netherlands, the suspect was able to enter the UAE before a notification regarding him was issued by authorities in his country. He added that the suspect stayed in one of Dubai’s residential areas without engaging in any criminal activity. He managed his daily affairs with the help of his acquaintances belonging to various nationalities.

Al Marri noted that the accused, a Dutch citizen, is considered one of the most dangerous criminals in the Netherlands due to the severe crimes he is alleged to have committed, ranging from murder to drug trafficking.

Al Marri further said the accused, who has been alleged to have committed several crimes in Europe and Africa, evaded security officials by changing identities.

International Cooperation

Erik Akerboom, Commissioner of Netherlands Police, thanked the UAE authorities and Dubai Police for their cooperation and efforts to track down the accused. He said that Dubai Police’s help was of vital importance in making the arrest possible. The Commissioner further said that Dubai Police has set an example for cooperation between authorities in combating organised crime around the world.

Providing more details on the cooperation, Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jalaf, Director of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Dubai Police, said Dutch authorities had earlier requested assistance in investigating the possible presence of the accused in Dubai or neighboring countries.

A team of top CID officers and personnel were tasked with gathering information. Following the investigation, the suspect was arrested at the villa he was residing in, Brigadier Al Jalaf said.

The accused will be referred to relevant judicial authorities in the country and action will be taken according to legal procedures followed in such cases, he further said.