“Mocro-Mafia”: Netherlands’ most wanted drug lord convicted

Trial against “Mocro Mafia”
Netherlands’ most wanted drug lord sentenced to life in prison

The mafia trial in the Netherlands was accompanied by an enormous police and security presence

© Peter Dejong / AP / DPA

In the mammoth trial against the so-called “Mocro Mafia”, the criminal court in Amsterdam sentenced three defendants to life imprisonment. Prosecutors called the drug ring a “well-oiled killing machine.”

A drug lord in the Netherlands has been sentenced to life in prison for multiple murders. The verdict against Ridouan Taghi was announced on Tuesday in a highly secure court near Amsterdam, commonly referred to as “The Bunker.” The identity of the judge who handed down the verdict was also not revealed for security reasons.

Taghi, who comes from Morocco, is considered the head of one of the largest cocaine trafficking rings in the Netherlands. Until his arrest in Dubai in 2019, he was considered the most wanted criminal in the Netherlands. He is also said to have continued to run his cartel from prison.

Along with Taghi, other members of his drug ring were on trial. Together, according to prosecutors, they formed a “well-oiled killing machine.” The penalties are slightly lower than the prosecution had demanded. She had requested life imprisonment a total of six times. The remaining 14 defendants were sentenced to prison.

stern reporter on the danger of the drug mafia in the Netherlands

Mafia trial lasted six years

At almost six years, this was the most extensive and spectacular murder trial in the country’s history. It is also directly related to the brutal murder of crime reporter Peter R. de Vries in 2021 – but the verdict is not due to be announced until the summer.

The 17 men were charged with six counts Contract killings, four attempted murders and membership in a criminal organization. The defendants remained mostly silent during the trial.

The gang belonged to the so-called Mocro Mafia and was a leader in the international cocaine trade for years. In the course of a bloody gang war, the country was shocked by reckonings and assassination attempts.

The focus of the prosecution was the testimony of a key witness. Nabil B., formerly an accomplice of Taghi, unpacked in 2017 in exchange for a reduced sentence. He has now been sentenced to ten years in prison. But his statement led to an unprecedented wave of violence by organized crime. The key witness’s brother, his lawyer and also his confidant, the prominent crime reporter Peter R. de Vries, were murdered. These murders were the subject of separate proceedings.

Note: This article has been updated.


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