The alleged leader of a crime organisation described as an “oiled killing machine” is back in the Netherlands after Dutch police arrested him in Dubai.
Ridouan Taghi, said to be the Netherlands’ most wanted man, had been on the run for years until his arrest on Monday.
He now faces trial for allegedly ordering a string of gangland killings and attempted murders.
Taghi, 41, is accused of murdering five people, including career criminals and a crime blogger.
In a statement, prosecutors said: “For security reasons, he was flown to the Netherlands by chartered plane with a police escort.”
The trial of Taghi and his alleged partner, Said Razzouki, already started with neither of them present and is set to continue on 27 February although Razzouki is still on the run.
The case made international headlines earlier this year when the lawyer for a trial witness – an alleged hit man who agreed to testify in exchange for a lighter sentence – was shot dead in Amsterdam.
The September killing of lawyer Derk Wiersum sparked outrage in the Netherlands and led to calls for a tougher crackdown on organised crime.
Taghi has not been charged with involvement in Wiersum’s death.