going down | 

Police arrest last key member of Dutch crime lord Ridouan Taghi’s gang in Montenegro

The Dutch gangster is a close associate of Daniel Kinahan's and was a guest at his wedding in Dubai in 2017

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

One of the last key lieutenants of Dutch crime lord Ridouan Taghi’s gang has been taken down by police in Montenegro.

Taghi, who had previously been heavily involved with Daniel Kinahan, is currently being held in the Netherlands where he is one of 16 defendants in the Marengo trial in which they are accused of ordering six murders between 2015 and 2017.

The Dutch crime lord is a close associate of Kinahan and was a guest at his wedding in Dubai in 2017.

The pair were said to be part of a 'super cartel' that is believed to have imported a staggering €23 billion worth of cocaine into Europe.

However, since his arrest Taghi's gang has been slowly dismantled by crime forces around the world and the latest to fall is a man by the name of Boris P (45), a suspected key player.

National police in Montenegro arrested the Taghi lieutenant who, like many of his leader's other top members, comes from the Utrecht region.

Authorities suspect that Taghi's criminal organisation is still controlled by their boss from one the most highly secured institutions in the Netherlands and ‘P’ is seen as an important link in the continuation of the drug trade run from behind bars.

The police confirmed a De Telegraaf report about P’s arrest who had been on a most wanted list until he was finally traced to Montenegro recently.

That country will now be asked to hand him over to the Netherlands where he will be charged with drug trafficking.

This latest arrest follows the detention of dozens of suspects from Taghi’s gang.

Many of the protagonists are now in the Extra Secure Institution (EBI) in Vught, where, despite the fact that it is one of the most highly secured institutions in the country, it is believed they still manage to communicate with their adjutants and give them orders.

One notorious example is that of Ridouan Taghi's cousin and lawyer, Youssef Taghi, through whom Taghi was able to communicate with the outside world from March until October 2021, when the lawyer was arrested.

He is believed to have passed on messages, including those relating to violent escape plans in which Taghi would be freed from the EBI, or from his highly secured transport to 'the bunker' in Amsterdam-Osdorp, where he is on trial.

The seventeen accused in the Marengo trial in which Taghi is the main suspect, will hear their sentences at the end of June.

Other key players arrested later, including Boris P, will be tried separately.

Last month, it was revealed how photographs of a naked and tortured woman were discovered on a Blackberry phone that Taghi had in his possession when he was arrested in Dubai.

In October of that year, a woman named Naima Jillal disappeared in Amsterdam.

She was suspected of large-scale cocaine trafficking, according to reports in the Amsterdam-based newspaper, Het Parool.

The report claims that, according to police, the photos on the phone were taken shortly after Jillal disappeared without a trace after getting into a car near her home on the Zuidas in Amsterdam.

The paper also claims the Public Prosecution Service suspects that Naima Jillal can be seen in the photos.

“There are indications that Naima Jillal was connected with the smuggling of cocaine through the fruit company De Groot in Hedel,” the paper reports.

Jillal, who was also known as “Aunt”, lived in Utrecht and was a suspect in several large-scale imports of cocaine.

In March last year, a handbag which is believed to belong to Jillal was found in a warehouse in Antwerp where 4.2 tons of cocaine was previously seized.

In 2017, Taghi was a guest at Kinahan's lavish wedding at the seven-star Burj-Al-Arab hotel in Dubai, along with mobsters Ricardo Riquelme Vega, aka El Rico, caged assassin Naoufal Fassih and Italian Camorra boss Raffaele Imperiale.

Things began to fall apart not long after Kinahan's wedding, when Ricardo Riquelme Vega was the first to fall, arrested in his native Chile and extradited to The Netherlands to face trial.

In June 2021, the Chilean was jailed for 11 years for organising murders and laundering drug money.

A mobile phone seized from him included a video that featured Kinahan as well as Italian mob boss Rafaelle Imperiale, another of his wedding guests who was recently extradited to face trial in Italy.

During El Rico's trial it was explicitly alleged that Kinahan, El Rico, Imperiale, Ridouan Taghi and Nafoufal Fassih were operating in unison as a drugs cartel.

Fassih was jailed for 18 years for attempted murder in Holland after he was extradited from Dublin in 2017, where he had been arrested in a Kinahan safehouse.

Next to go was Taghi, arrested in Dubai in his luxury bolthole and now being held at the Extra Secure Institution (EBI) in Vught.


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