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One of Europe's Most Wanted Criminals 'Lives In Iran' - Dutch Media

Ridouan Taghi, implicated as a major drug kingpin and murderer lives in Iran according to Dutch news outlet, De Telegraaf.

The "most wanted criminal" in the Netherlands lives freely in Iran, a Dutch daily, De Telegraaf, reports.

The 41-year-old Ridouan Taghi is a Morrocan drug and weapons smuggling kingpin accused of various crimes, including cooperation in killing an Iranian dissident, Mohammad Reza Kolahi Samadi, in 2015, in the Netherlands.

Furthermore, Taghi has also allegedly assisted the Islamic Republic intelligence agents to assassinate other dissidents across Europe.

Kolahi Samadi, 56, was gunned down in December 2015 in the Dutch town of Almere.

He had fled Iran after the June 28, 1981 bombing of the Islamic Republic Party headquarters in Tehran, which left more than seventy dead. Among the victims was the nascent Islamic Republic's Republic's Chief-Justice Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti, considered as the number two man of the newly established Islamic regime, after its founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Reportedly, Kolahi Samadi took refuge in the Netherlands and lived there under the assumed name, Ali Motamed.

Police identified the two men accused of killing Kolahi Samadi as 28-year-old Anouar A.B., a naturalized Dutch citizen, and 35-year-old Moreo M, the Dutch daily Het Parool reported May 14 adding, "Both suspects have criminal records and come from the Bijlmer neighborhood of Amsterdam."

The main suspect, a man named Nouafel F who had hired the killers received the life sentence, and the killers to twenty and 25 years in jail in April.

According to the Dutch media, since the prime suspect, 38-year-old Nouafel F, refrained from saying anything about his motive, the court could not say if the Islamic Republic had been involved in the case or not.

During the investigations, police discovered that Nouafel F had been one of Taghi's subordinates, taking orders directly from him.

The Dutch police also believe that fugitive Ridouan Taghi is part of a "super cartel" that controls around a third of the cocaine trade in Europe.

While the Dutch police reported last July that Taghi was probably hiding in Dubai, daily De Telegraaf now says he is commuting between Iran and Dubai.

The Netherlands Justice Department has offered a 100,000 euro ($110,990)-award to arrest its most wanted fugitive.

Earlier this year, Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said there were "strong indications" that Iranian security services were involved in the assassination of 56-year-old Samadi, as well as the killing of another Dutch national of Iranian origin, activist Ahmad Molla Nissi, 52, who founded an Arab nationalist group seeking an autonomous state inside Iran. Nissi was gunned down in 2017.

The Dutch intelligence agency has also said a new report suggests Iranian security services may have had a hand in the murders.

The EU has imposed sanctions on two Iranians and the country's military intelligence service in response to the allegations, and the Dutch government expelled two Iranian diplomats and summoned the Iranian ambassador in June 2018 to answer the allegations. Tehran denies any involvement in the murders.

In response, the Islamic Republic Foreign Ministry denied allegations and deplored the Netherlands' decision as "unfriendly," illogical," "devoid of legality," and "unproductive."

For its part, Tehran also expelled two Dutch diplomats serving at the Netherlands Embassy in Iran.

However, in January, the European Union sanctioned Iran's intelligence services after accusing Tehran of being involved in plots to assassinate regime opponents in Europe.

Paris also accused Iranian intelligence of being responsible for plotting a planned attack on a MEK rally north of Paris on June 2018.

Moreover, since mid-2018, several European countries launched investigations and arrested individuals allegedly linked to Iran and involved in plots to bomb and assassinate Iranian opposition targets in France, Denmark, and Holland.

As recently as October 23, the Albanian police announced that it had thwarted an attack allegedly planned by a Tehran-backed "terrorist cell" against opponents of the Iranian regime in the Balkan country last year.

The cell belonged to the Qods (Quds) Force, an elite unit of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) responsible for foreign operations, police said in a statement.

Authorities also did not say whether the incident had any connection to Albania's expulsion last year of two Iranian diplomats who the United States accused of plotting "terrorist attacks" in the Balkan country.