10 years prison in murder that sparked ongoing gang war

Najib B
Najeb B., Murdered in October 2012. Najeb B., Murdered in October 2012

Benaouf A., found guilty of being an accomplice in the murder of crime boss Najeb Bouhbouh in 2012, has been sentenced by an Amsterdam court to ten years imprisonment.

Najeb Bouhbouh was at a hotel in Antwerp, Belgium two years ago, as he was exiting the lobby of the The Crown Plaza Hotel. The target of the assassination was a renowned Moroccan organized crime member, and thought to be involved in a 200-kilogram cocaine heist shortly before his death.

Chaos ensued in the months following his death, resulting in  sparked by an attempt to avenge the murder of Bouhbouh. Benouf managed to escape an attempted assassination two months after the murder, in which two of his associates were slain. Later that day, Benaouf turned himself in to the police for possession and money laundering. He was arrested in his holding cell on suspicion of involvement in the Antwerp murder.

Benaouf was convicted based on a collection of evidence extracted from text messages between the accused and the alleged murderer, Chris B. Reportedly, Benaouf acted as a liaison, and "lured" the victim to the hotel. The crux of the evidence was a text message from Benaouf to the murderer stating "we are on our way", shortly before the shots were fired.

A significantly reduced sentence will be served by Benaouf, as he was convicted of being an accomplice and not of murder. The prosecution may appeal the sentence.

Convicted murderer of the Antwerp assassination, Chris B., committed suicide in his jail cell in August 2013.

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