Dubai Police reveal how they caught French drug lord 'the ghost'

Police use latest crime-fighting techniques to capture Moufide ‘Mouf’ Bouchibi after 10 years on the run

A French drug lord known as "the ghost" who was on the run for a decade was arrested in Dubai after police armed with only a 20-year-old picture of the suspect used artificial intelligence technology to track him down.

Dubai Police received a Red Notice from Interpol against Moufide 'Mouf' Bouchibi, 39, shortly before he arrived in the emirate recently.

He used forged identification to evade detection after landing in the city.

A team of officers were assigned to the case and a criminal data analysis centre was set up to snare one of France's most wanted men.

He was captured last week.

"He entered the country under a false identity shortly after we received the Interpol Red Notice," said Brig Jamal Al Jallaf, director of the general department of criminal investigation at Dubai Police.

“He was hiding under several names as if he did not exist at all, which posed a great challenge to our detectives.”

Police used the latest AI techniques to analyse available pictures and videos of the suspect.

"Although French detectives had only a photo of Bouchibi from more than 20 years ago, our teams were able to identify his whereabouts," the senior officer said.

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

"In 2015, the Bordeaux Court sentenced Bouchibi to 20 years," Brig Al Jallaf said.

"As soon as our officers conclude the investigation, Bouchibi will be referred to the Public Prosecution for further legal action," the officer said.

He said the Ministry of Justice will decide on his extradition under existing agreements with Interpol.

The arrest was praised by Dubai Police's commander-in-chief, Lt Gen Abdullah Al Marri, and Jerome Bonet, Central Director of the French Judiciary Police.

Jurgen Stock, the secretary general of Interpol, on Twitter applauded the UAE for arresting Bouchibi.

"Congratulations to France and the UAE on a great result. This arrest again shows the power of global police co-operation and the value of Red Notices in locating and arresting fugitives."

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