Trial of Dutch ‘most wanted’ opens

THE HAGUE (AFP) – The Netherlands’ former most wanted suspect and 16 other alleged members of a drugs gang dubbed the “Mocro-mafia” went on trial yesterday in one of the country’s biggest criminal cases.

Moroccan-born Ridouan Taghi, 43, and the others face charges including murder over an alleged campaign of assassinations by what prosecutors called a “well-oiled killing machine”.

Taghi is the alleged mastermind of the Amsterdam-based group, seen as one of the Netherlands’s largest cocaine distributors. He was arrested in Dubai in 2019.

Judges opened the hearing at a heavily secured courthouse nicknamed “The Bunker” on the outskirts of Amsterdam, Dutch news reports said.

Police are believed to have brought Taghi to court by helicopter, public broadcaster NOS said.

“In the case file a picture emerges of a well-oiled killing machine. A human life was worth nothing, given at least two murders involving mistaken identities,” prosecutors said.