Morocco-Netherlands: Wanted in Rabat, Said Chaou Bailed out

Dutch authorities have released, pending trial, Said Chaou a Moroccan-Dutch who is under two international warrants and wanted in Rabat for drug trafficking and setting up of a criminal band.

The former Moroccan lawmaker was arrested end of last June and put on an extradition list at the demand of Moroccan authorities who also accuse him of kindling social unrest in the Rif region, Northern Morocco.

The Moroccan Ministry of Justice said it had taken note of the statement issued on Wednesday by Dutch authorities on the provisional release of Said Chaou after he spent three weeks in detention under the extradition warrant issued by Moroccan judicial authorities.

The Ministry indicated the provisional liberation does not affect the normal course of the extradition procedure initiated by Dutch authorities. The extradition procedure remains in force against the person concerned until final decision on the matter, the Ministry said.

According to the Dutch Authorities’ statement, Said Chaou has been released on condition to wear an electronic bracelet enabling Dutch authorities to monitor his movements. Chaou is summoned to appear in court in September for a hearing over Morocco’s request for his extradition. He must also show up at any time at the request of judicial or security authorities.

Chaou caused diplomatic row between the EU member and Morocco after the North African country complained about The Netherlands’ reluctance to nab the drug dealer despite international warrants issued against him in 2010 and 2015.

The Dutch drug trafficker of Moroccan origin was finally arrested in the Netherlands after Rabat recalled for consultation its ambassador to The Hague.

Moroccan le360 portal had then reported, quoting a source from the Moroccan Foreign Ministry, that Chaou is sued for serious crimes in the Netherlands, his country of residence, where he awaits a verdict due by the end of 2017 on charges of forming a criminal gang as well as drug and arms trafficking.

The Dutch broadcaster NOS, on its part had reported, that Chaou owned a cannabis café in the Netherland, which was closed because it served overdoses to its clients. He was reportedly arrested in 2015 in the southern Dutch town of Roosendaal as part of a crackdown on a drug network.
In Morocco, Chaou is accused of constituting a criminal band, homicide, corruption and international drug trafficking.

Besides, he backs unrest in the Rif region to recreate, according to Moroccan Authorities, chaos in the region and consequently resume his lucrative cannabis trafficking activities.

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