Dubai Police arrest 432 international fugitives in two years

Senior officer warns wanted criminals they cannot escape justice in the emirate

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Dubai Police have arrested 432 international fugitives over the past two years wanted for crimes including murder, money laundering and armed robbery.

Maj Gen Jamal Al Jallaf, director of the criminal investigations department, said the force worked to stay one step ahead of global criminals seeking to evade justice.

He said police snared offenders responsible for financial crimes totalling more than Dh518 million, while 379 wanted people were extradited to 30 countries.

“All international fugitives were always hidden and changing their locations to confuse law enforcement officers but we set traps and arrested them,” said Maj Gen Al Jallaf.

Officers in Dubai exchanged information with police forces all over the world through Interpol to help co-ordinate sophisticated operations to bring down powerful crime syndicates.

Only last month, a European “super cartel” that controlled a third of the continent's cocaine trade was disrupted, with dozens of arrests in an operation across six countries.

Europol said 49 people had been arrested during the investigation, with the latest series of raids across Europe and the UAE between November 8 and 19.

The agency said police forces involved in Operation Desert Light targeted the “command-and-control centre and the logistical drugs trafficking infrastructure in Europe”.

Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, said the Emirates played a key role in combatting international money laundering and drug trafficking.

Supporting global crime fight

It was one of a string of crime-fighting successes in which police in Dubai have played a major role.

“In March last year, the force caught the French drug dealer and international crime kingpin Moufide ‘Mouf’ Bouchibi, also known as 'the Ghost',” said Maj Gen Al Jallaf.

“He was arrested in Dubai where he was travelling under a false identity, after 10 years on the run.”

Police had only a 20-year-old picture of the suspect and used artificial intelligence to track him down.

Dubai Police received a red notice from Interpol against Bouchibi, then 39, shortly before he arrived in the emirate.

Bouchibi was involved in drug trafficking and smuggling operations across Europe with an estimated annual street value of €70 million ($82.6m).

He was tried in a French court in 2015 and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The following month, Dubai Police arrested a man wanted for eight years over his alleged role in an international drug trafficking plot.

Michael Paul Moogan was captured shortly after officers received another red notice from Interpol.

The arrest was a result of Dubai Police's co-operation with the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA).

The NCA said Moogan, 35, from Liverpool in north-west England, was on the run after a raid on a Rotterdam cafe in 2013, part of a series of co-ordinated operations in the UK and the Netherlands.

Officers seized large sums of cash, jewellery, paintings and cars when they arrested Raffaele Imperiale, one of Italy's most wanted men, on July 30, 2021.

In a three-minute video shared by police at the time, a team of elite officers raided the Dubai residence where the Italian was hiding.

The man, who is alleged to be a drugs kingpin of Naples' Camorra organised crime syndicate, was arrested and handcuffed.

Updated: December 26, 2022, 1:57 PM