herald

Sunday 27 May 2018

Cartel associate gets 18 years for botched Amsterdam hit

Naoufal Fassih was jailed
Naoufal Fassih was jailed

A cartel-linked crimelord was yesterday jailed for 18 years for an attempted feud-related murder in the Netherlands.

Naoufal Fassih (37), a Dutch citizen of Moroccan origin, is considered one of Europe's most serious organised criminals and has been closely linked to the Kinahan cartel for years.

He was busted in a special operation by gardai in a Kinahan safe house on the capital's southside more than two years ago.

When gardai arrested him in an apartment in the Baggot Street area, he was in possession of luxury watches worth more than €40,000, cash, mobile phones and "other items that can be linked to criminality".

He was extradited back to the Netherlands last year in a secret operation and has been on remand in a high-security Dutch jail ever since.

While on remand in Mountjoy Prison, authorities uncovered a sinister plot to murder Fassih in January of last year, which ultimately led him to being transferred to high-security Portlaoise Prison.

Assassination

The Dutch extradition request for the attempted murder charge was issued in September 2016, and relates to a botched assassination in an Amsterdam suburb on November 15, 2015.

The Dutch authorities have now proved Fassih paid €8,000 to the would-be assassin and gave instructions on how to carry out the killing.

He was part of a gang that fired 36 shots at a man in his car.

The victim survived, despite being hit six times.

"The victim was gravely injured, but survived the shooting," Dutch prosecutors said in a statement yesterday.

"In the months that followed, five people were arrested: the two shooters, the chauffeur of the flight car and two spotters who prepared the attack.

"These five were sentenced last year to 20 years of prison."

In its judgment yesterday, the Dutch court explained Fassih's lengthy sentence.

"The court finds that he was indeed the one who directed the murder command from Ireland," it said.

"The encouraging messages he sent to one of the spotters show how eager he was to have the victim killed, and it did not matter to him if it happened on public roads, possibly with danger to others."

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