Another suspect in foiled gangland prison break arrested

Police guard in a detention center
Police guard in a detention centerPhoto: Politie

Another suspect was arrested for involvement in a failed attempt to break criminal Benaouf A. out of the prison in Roermond. The man turned himself in to the police on Wednesday, the Prosecutor said on Monday. 39-year-old Abdelghafour L. is the ninth and final suspect in this case, Het Parool reports. 

In October last year a group of criminals tried to break A. out of prison by hijacking a helicopter. The Amsterdam police got wind of plans for this prison break during an ongoing investigation. A SWAT team prevented the helicopter hijacking. There was a high-speed chase which ended in three suspects being arrested, and a fourth being shot and killed by a police officer. A total of nine suspects have now been arrested. The trail against them starts on Tuesday.

Abdelghafour L. has long been a good friend of Benaouf A., according to the newspaper. He is seen as the coordinator of the escape attempt. Alvaro G.B., the Colombian pilot hired to fly the hijacked helicopter, told the authorities that L. was the one who gave him his orders. He also said that L. pressured him when he wanted to back out of the plan. The suspect that was shot and killed during the chase was L.'s cousin, according to the newspaper.

In February 2013 L. was arrested with Benaouf A. and another friend in Rotterdam. A. was then sought for the assassination of Amsterdam criminal Najeb Bouhbouh in Antwerp in 2012. Since A. was sentenced to 12 years in prison for Bouhbouh's assassination, L. was one of his most loyal visitors in prison, according to the newspaper.

L.'s lawyer Robert Malewicz refused to comment on the case or about the role L. played in it.