After rumors and a report in De Telegraaf about the arrest of Ridouan Taghi’s 22-year-old son, his arrest was finally confirmed by the Public Prosecution Service on Monday. But the question remains whether Faissal Taghi will actually be extradited. Despite a new treaty with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the judicial cooperation with the UAE desired by the Netherlands is not yet optimal.
By @Wim van de Pol
In November 2022, Edin G. and Zohair B. were arrested in Dubai and in January it was reported that the two alleged members of ‘a super cartel’ that allegedly collaborated with Ridouan Taghi had already been released. Het Parool wrote on Saturday that there was a problem in those cases: the Dutch extradition requests were submitted within the set period of 40 days, but according to the authorities and judges in the UAE, required documents were missing, which caused the period to expire.
Now, according to sources from Het Parool, a similar scenario is threatening in the case of Faissal Taghi. Sources from the newspaper have announced that a first extradition request had been rejected and that an appeal procedure against this is now underway.
One of the general problems with extradition from the UAE is that suspicions of money laundering or financial fraud are not always considered sufficient for extradition in that country. Dutch justice must ensure that the suspicions for which extradition is requested are sufficiently serious in the eyes of local judges and in accordance with local law.
Faissal Taghi is suspected in the Netherlands of participating in a criminal organization whose aim is international drug trafficking, money laundering and the preparation of violent crimes.
Belgium suffers from the same problem as the Netherlands. That country has repeatedly asked the UAE in vain for the extradition of people suspected, and even convicted, of serious drug crimes.
Before the new treaty between the Netherlands and the UAE was signed, Ridouan Taghi and the Amsterdam criminal Khalid J. arrived in the Netherlands from the UAE. They were not arrested and extradited according to the rules, but were deported from the country on a Dutch plane. According to their lawyers, this was an illegal action by the authorities in Dubai. According to international organizations, the administration of justice and human rights in the UAE are not in good shape.
It was clear that in the case of Ridouan Taghi, intelligence services played an important role. De Telegraaf wrote this week that in the case of the arrest of Faissal Taghi, the Moroccan intelligence service, among others, cooperated with the judicial authorities in the UAE.
In the Public Prosecution Service’s press release on the matter, following the report from De Telegraaf, the national public prosecutor’s office wrote that the authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ‘confirmed’ the arrest on Monday. This means that apparently the national public prosecutor’s office only learned about the arrest after Monday’s publication in De Telegraaf. The public prosecutor’s office writes in a diplomatic tone that it has ‘full confidence in the further course of the extradition procedure’.
Apparently the same route is not taken with Faissal Taghi as with his father and Khalid J.: the route of deportation. But the national government does not yet dare to anticipate a conclusion and successful outcome of the extradition of Faissal Taghi.