A French drug lord known as ‘The Ghost’ has been captured by Dubai Police after ten years on the run.
Dubai Police arrested Moufide ‘Mouf’ Bouchibi, suspected of being involved in drug trafficking and smuggling operations across Europe with an estimated annual street value of $82.6m, after receiving a Red Notice from Interpol.
Bouchibi, 39, had been traveling under false identity, according to state news agency Wam. He had been using forged documents when Dubai Police arrested him.
Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, said the arrest is another achievement to the fruitful cooperation between Dubai Police and international law enforcement agencies towards ensuring the world’s security and safety.
Jérôme Bonet, Central Director of the French Judiciary Police, lauded Dubai Police’s commitment to the fight against international drug trafficking and more broadly, organized crime. He praised the close cooperation between the French Anti-Narcotics Agency (OFAST) and the Dubai Police that led to the arrest of Bouchibi.
Major General Expert Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs at Dubai Police, said a team of elite officers was immediately assigned to the task after exchanging necessary information with the French authorities and Interpol.
He said: “Our officers, aided by the Criminal Data Analysis center at Dubai Police, located the infamous drug lord and arrested him in Dubai within a very short time.”
According to Brigadier Jamal Salem Al-Jallaf, director of the General Department of Criminal Investigation (CID), Bouchibi eluded detectives for more than a decade and became a global trafficker importing 60 tons of drugs to Europe every year with an estimated annual street value of $82.6m.
“In 2015, the Bordeaux Court sentenced Bouchibi to 20 years,” he said.
Al-Jallaf added that they arrested the man, who had entered the state under a false identity, shortly after they received Interpol’s red notice against him.
“Although French detectives had only a photo of Bouchibi from more than 20 years ago, our teams were able to identify Mouf’s whereabouts by analyzing available data, pictures and videos, and harnessing the latest artificial intelligence techniques available at the Criminal Data Analysis center,” he added.
Al-Jallaf revealed that Bouchibi had not made a single transaction or purchase under his real name since his arrival in Dubai.
“He was hiding under several names as if he did not exist at all, which posed a great challenge to our detectives who have always shown exceptional professionalism in analyzing available information and utilizing the latest technologies to serve justice and track down criminals,” said Al-Jallaf.
The director of Dubai Police CID explained that the arrest of ‘Mouf’ reflects the fruitful cooperation between Dubai Police, the French authorities and Interpol.
He added that Dubai Police have carried out the entire operation since the moment they received the Red Notice until the arrest’s zero hour.
“As soon as our officers conclude the investigation, Bouchibi will be referred to the Public Prosecution for further legal action, and the UAE Ministry of Justice will determine the mechanism for his extradition per existing understandings and agreements with the Interpol,” said Al-Jallaf.