Taghi part of "super cartel" controlling third of EU cocaine trafficking: report

Ridouan Taghi with a sketch aged to show what he may look like today
Ridouan Taghi with a sketch aged to show what he may look like todayPhoto: Politie/Opsporing Verzocht

The police believe that fugitive Ridouan Taghi is part of a "super cartel" that controls around a third of the cocaine trade in Europe, AD reports based on police documents in its possession. Other members of this "super cartel" include leaders from the Italian, Irish and Bosnian mafias, the newspaper writes.

According to AD, the authenticity of the documents in its possession has been confirmed. These documents form part of an investigation into family members of Edin G. from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and were leaked through Bosnian media. The American DEA considers Edin G. one fo the 50 largest drug traffickers in the world. 

The drug cartel operates from Dubai, according to the newspaper. In the documents, the police estimate that 100 thousand kilos of cocaine are smuggled to the port of Rotterdam every year. This network accounts for a third of that, the police believe. 

The documents show that the Dutch Public Prosecutor received information about this super cartel from the DEA in August last year. The Prosecutor launched a large money laundering investigation into Edin's cousin Mirza G. and his wife. Millions of euros worth of bank accounts and buildings in Breda were seized as part of this investigation.

The information received from the DEA showed that over 14 tons of cocaine linked to Edin G. were intercepted in 2017. This includes 5,300 kilograms from Colombia seized in the port of Antwerp on 13 October 2017. The final destination for those drugs, worth 200 million euros, was a fruit business in Barendrecht. Other seized cocaine shipments include 928 kilos hidden between teak from Ecuador, 2,045 kilos in a load of canned asparagus on its way to the Netherlands, and 5,883 kilos hidden among bananas on their way to Spain. 

The Public Prosecutor recently announced that Taghi is likely staying in Dubai. He is wanted in the Netherlands for at least nine separate underworld assassinations. Edin G. and the leaders of the Italian and Irish mafias are also believed to be in Dubai, according to the newspaper.