By David Amoruso for Gangsters Inc.
The Dutch government and its intelligence service AIVD have “strong evidence” that Iran not only used Moroccan Dutch gangsters to eliminate two of its “enemies of the state” on foreign soil, but that it is actively protecting crime bosses by providing them with a safe haven.
The Dutch Ministry of Justice suspects that the Netherlands’ most wanted crime boss, Ridouan Taghi, is protected by Iran’s secret service, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported Friday. Taghi is seen as one of Europe’s biggest drug bosses, having formed a “super cartel” with leaders of the Camorra, Irish Mob, and Serbian underworld. He is believed to be hiding in Dubai, but, according to authorities, makes frequent trips to Iran on fast private yachts.
After making the 150-kilometer trip, Taghi (right) allegedly has several safe houses at his disposal. He receives this level of protection from the Iranian government, Dutch Justice claims, because he was instrumental in helping Iran eliminate one or more of its most wanted “enemies of the state”.
The whole conspiracy sounds like something out of a James Bond novel. Yet, it all began in the very mundane city of Almere, near Amsterdam, where 56-year-old electrician Ali Motamed had settled in a rowhouse after coming to the Netherlands as a refugee. He was living an unassuming life and, on the morning of December 15, 2015, was getting ready for another day at work. As he loaded his equipment into his van, a hitman shot him in the head. The shooter and an associate then sped off in a car that was later found abandoned and burnt out.
For a while, the motive behind the killing baffled investigators. Then it became known that Motamed was really Mohammad Reza Kolahi Samadi, a member of the People's Mujahedin of Iran, who, according to Iranian authorities, was the mastermind behind the 1981 bombing of the headquarters of the Islamic Republican Party, killing over 70 officials.
“To call him crazy is putting it mildly”
The plot thickened when it came out that the killers were working on orders from Moroccan Dutch drug boss Naoufal Fassih (right), a close associate of Ridouan Taghi. A fellow gangster once gave the following description of Fassih: “Naoufal is someone, he will cut you into pieces”. Alleging that he killed so many people he could fill a cemetery but leaves few traces. “Naoufal once shot a guy in the leg. He was sent to prison, came out, and shot the guy in his leg AGAIN! To call him crazy is putting it mildly.”
Dutch authorities agreed, in April of 2018, Fassih was sentenced to 18 years in prison after being found guilty of the attempted murder of an underworld rival. Interestingly, two years earlier, Irish police had arrested Fassih in Dublin, where he was living in a property tied to the notorious Kinahan clan.
Super Cartel: Kinahan, Camorra, Serbian Mafia & Moroccans
Led by Daniel Kinahan, the group has positioned itself as the dominant crime group in Ireland and is part of the aforementioned “super cartel”, along with Ridouan Taghi, Camorra boss Raffaele Imperiale, and Serbian crime boss Edin Gachanin.
While living under the protection of the Irish Kinahan clan, Fassih received financial support from Richard Eduardo Riquelme Vega, a drug boss known as “Rico the Chilean” who is close to Taghi, and whose organization trafficked tons of cocaine from South America to Europe. It is clear Fassih functioned as an important piece of an extremely intricate puzzle. The Dutch government views him as the link between Taghi and the Iranian secret service.
Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz
But the execution of Mohammad Reza Kolahi Samadi (left) isn’t the only murder the Dutch government accuses Iran of having played a role in. In 2017, an assassin shot several bullets into Ahmad Mola Nissi, the leader of the Iranian separatist group Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz. Nissi died in front of his house in The Hague. He had been living in the Netherlands for over a decade. Dutch investigators believe a criminal organization from the port city of Rotterdam was involved in this hit.
A break and a dead-end
A break in the murder case of Mohammad Reza Kolahi Samadi occurred when prosecutors got their hands on a treasure trove of text messages after they were able to unlock a decrypted cell phone of one of the participants in the plot. The two hitmen were discovered to have extensive criminal records and longstanding ties to the underworld.
The text messages showed they were monitoring Samadi and had no clue why he was targeted for death, only that they were assigned with the task and were eager to get the job done. In April of this year, they were sentenced to 25 and 20 years behind bars for their roles in the murder. The messages also implicated Fassih, who was found guilty of ordering the murder and sentenced to life in prison. All three remain silent about any coconspirators, however.
So for now, this is where the buck stops. Two “enemies of the state” are dead. Fassih and two hitmen are doing significant time in prison. And Taghi is a most wanted fugitive enjoying the protection of Iran. In the meantime, in June of 2018, the Dutch government evicted two diplomats from the Iranian embassy and deported them from the country. The two men were members of Iran’s intelligence service. All of this creates increased tension between the two nations at a time when the entire region is already functioning in a state of heightened alarm.
The world of secret intelligence and black ops is one of dirty hands. Whether it happened in the 1960s with the United States and La Cosa Nostra working alongside Cuban exiles to assassinate Fidel Castro or right now with Iran using violent gangsters to eliminate political enemies. It is impossible for legitimate governments to escape the filth that washes over them as they dip their hands into the criminal underworld.
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