“Bibi”, a major French drug trafficker, released in Dubai before extradition

“Bibi”, a major French drug trafficker, released in Dubai before extradition

Abdelkader Bouguettaia, 36, was arrested in early November 2023 following a visit by the interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, to the United Arab Emirates to strengthen judicial cooperation. He was eventually released in mid-December by the UAE judiciary.

The arrest of “Bibi” had taken on the airs of a trophy. A few days after a lightning visit by Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin to the United Arab Emirates, local police announced the arrest of French drug trafficker Abdelkader Bouguettaia, known to his friends and investigators by the nickname “Bibi”. Considered by the Anti-Narcotics Office (Ofast) as a “priority target of interest”, this 36-year-old man, against whom Interpol had issued a red notice, had been sentenced in May 2023 to nine years in prison by the court of Lille. He is also the protagonist of several ongoing investigations.

Abdelkader Bouguettaia, wanted under a national arrest warrant since December 10, 2021 and a European arrest warrant since February 7, 2022, was being sought in connection with an investigation by the National Jurisdiction in charge of Organized Crime (Junalco) following the discovery in July 2020 of 2.5 tonnes of cocaine shipped from the port of Cartagena (Colombia) to the port of Le Havre (Seine-Maritime), where the drugs were found hidden in a sugar shipment.

The satisfaction of the French authorities turned to bitterness. In mid-December, the UAE judiciary released the trafficker from Le Havre, according to information confirmed to Le Monde by the Paris prosecutor’s office, which specifies that “the elements for his extradition were provided by the French authorities, but it could not be organized within the legal deadline of forty days, at the end of which he was released”.

Read more: lemonde.fr

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