Dubai Police arrest French drug lord on the run for 10 years

Dubai - Moufide Bouchibi is an international kingpin, also known as 'The Ghost'.

By Hesham Salah

Published: Thu 1 Apr 2021, 3:31 PM

Last updated: Thu 1 Apr 2021, 4:38 PM

Dubai Police has arrested a French drug lord involved in drug trafficking and smuggling operations across Europe.


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Moufide ‘Mouf’ Bouchibi, 39, who became an international kingpin known as ‘The Ghost’, has been on the run for 10 years. He was using forged documents and travelling under a false identity when Dubai Police arrested him.

Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, said the arrest is another achievement in the cooperation between Dubai Police and international law enforcement agencies to ensure the world’s security and safety.

He praised the tremendous efforts made by the force's team from the General Department of Criminal Investigation who located, tracked, and arrested the suspect shortly after receiving the Interpol’s Red Notice.

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 also lauded the close cooperation between the French Anti-Narcotics Agency (OFAST) and the Dubai Police that led to the arrest of Bouchibi.

How it happened

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 the necessary information was exchanged with French authorities and Interpol.

“Our officers, aided by the Criminal Data Analysis Centre at Dubai Police, located the infamous drug lord and arrested him in Dubai within a very short time,” he said.

According to Brigadier Jamal Salem Al-Jallaf, director of the General Department of Criminal Investigation, Bouchibi eluded detectives for more than a decade and became a global trafficker, importing 60 tonnes of drugs to Europe every year with an estimated annual street value of 70 million euros (US$82.6 million). “In 2015, the Bordeaux Court sentenced Bouchibi to 20 years,” he said.

Al-Jallaf told Khaleej Times that the operation to arrest Bouchibi happened at the end of March.

He explained that Bouchibi had entered the state under a false identity, shortly after Dubai Police had 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 his whereabouts by analysing available data, pictures and videos, and harnessing the latest artificial intelligence techniques available at the Criminal Data Analysis Centre,” 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 analysing available information and utilising the latest technologies to serve justice and track down criminals,” Al-Jallaf continued.

“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,” Al-Jallaf said.

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