Two Dutch men have been arrested in Dubai on suspicion of involvement in a large-scale international drug trade. This was reported by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which had requested the arrest of the two.
The arrested suspects are Edin G. and Zouhair B., according to various media. Requests for extradition to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been filed for both.
Zouhair B. is 37 years old and has Dutch and Moroccan nationality. Edin G. is a 40-year-old Dutchman of Bosnian nationality.
The investigation into the two men began with messages deciphered by Sky cryptophones, devices specifically designed to communicate in security.
B. is being prosecuted by the Prosecutor’s Office in Rotterdam for importing thousands of kilos of cocaine into the Netherlands in 2020 and 2021, participating in a criminal organization, laundering large sums of money, bribery and possession of firearms.
G. is suspected of importing large consignments of cocaine, but also of (preparing) the importation of almost 8,000 kilos of raw materials for the production of amphetamines.
The raw materials were transported via the port of Antwerp to a company in the Netherlands. According to the public prosecutor’s office, the two men both played a leading role in drug importation.
200 million euros of cocaine
Edin G. grew up in Breda. Years ago he was named by the US drug enforcement agency DEA as a major drug trafficker who was allegedly the head of a Bosnian criminal organization.
He is said to have formed a cartel in Dubai with Irish and Italian drug gang leaders who have now also been arrested. According to the DEA, Ridouan Taghi was also sitting at the table there.
Zouhair B. is also considered a major player within the group. The public prosecutor suspects him of having smuggled almost 3,000 kilos of cocaine into the Netherlands, for a market value of over 200 million euros. He has been wanted by the police since this spring.
Operation Desert Light
The arrest of the two is part of one Europol port coordinated international operation involving the police and judicial services of Spain, France, Belgium, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.
This involved cooperation with the Dubai Police. In the Netherlands, criminal investigations are conducted by the National Criminal Investigation Department and the Rotterdam Regional Criminal Investigation Department of the National Police.
Europol made a video of the operation called “Operation Desert Light”:
Europol reports that a total of 49 suspects have been arrested. According to the international investigative organization, they formed a so-called “super cartel” that controlled about a third of the cocaine trade in Europe.
Dubai has long been seen as a haven for drug criminals. Ridouan Taghi, one of the two main suspects in the Marengo trial, was also arrested there.