Holland's most notorious and wanted criminal was arrested in Dubai on Monday in an operation that required the team effort of Dubai Police, Dutch authorities, and the INTERPOL.
Ridouan Taghi, a Moroccan-born Dutch offender, is the suspected head of the most dangerous drug trafficking gang in Africa and Europe, the "Angel of Death." The 41-year-old is accused of drug trafficking as well as multiple murders and assassination attempts.
Taghi entered the UAE using a real passport and issued visa but under a fake identity a year before Dutch authorities issued an arrest warrant in his name.
"He is one of the world's most dangerous and wanted men and listed on Interpol for his connections to serious organised crime," Commander-In-Chief of Dubai Police Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri said.
After a year of avoiding capture, Taghi was seized at a residential area in Dubai.
According to Dubai authorities, they were able to find and arrest the criminal with nothing but police work. A 100,000-euro ($111,600) reward was put up by Dutch police for anyone who had any information or tips about the felon's whereabouts.
Despite the lack of a formal extradition treaty between the UAE and The Netherlands, authorities are working on transferring Taghi back to Holland.
Fred Westerbeke, the head of the Dutch public prosecution service, is confident that although it may take some time, the extradition will work out in their favor.
"The goal was to deliver a major blow to this international criminal organization," Jannine van den Berg, the Dutch Chief of Police, commented on the news.
Taghi became internationally notorious in September after he allegedly ordered the murder of Derk Wiersum, a lawyer who was representing a witness called Nabil B. in a case against Taghi and his right-hand man Said Razzouki.
Razzouki is still on the run from authorities.
Taghi's arrest was of "great importance for the Netherlands," according to Commissioner of Netherlands Police Erik Akerboom.
The criminal is due to stand trial in March for the suspected murder of five individuals as well as several attempted murders known as the Marengo case.
"These types of criminals mistakenly believe that they are untouchable. We want to dismantle these organizations step by step," said Andy Kraag, Head of the National Criminal Investigations Division in Holland.
According to Dutch News, the main witness to the case, Nabil B., is the brother of one of the murdered victims. His brother's shooter, Shurandy S., was tried and sentenced to 28 years in jail on Monday. However, Taghi is suspected to be the one who ordered the killing.
The ordered murder of lawyer Derk Wiersum is not considered part of the Marengo case trial.