Rabat – Dutch authorities thwarted a prison escape attempt on Sunday, January 19, when a van parked beside the Zutphen prison went up in flames. The prison was home to Omar L, a leader in the “Mocro Maffia,” a gang of Moroccan-Dutch criminals engaged in drug trafficking and murder.
Dutch media have named Omar L as the person the outsiders were planning to help escape.
On Sunday, L’s lawyer Sander Janssen confirmed that prison officials have transferred L from Zutphen to Vught, a high security prison in the southern part of the country.
The escape attempt began with a van set ablaze outside the prison. Police then chased a “suspicious” car carrying four individuals, eventually catching the car near the Netherlands’ border with Germany.
One of the car’s passengers began running from police on foot, but police managed to apprehend all four suspects and employed a helicopter in the chase.
Omar L is serving a life sentence in prison for several murders and attempted murders.
Just last month, Emirati police arrested another leader of the Mocro Maffia, Redouane Taghi. Using information from the Moroccan security services, the Dutch and Emirati police were able to locate Taghi in Dubai.
The Netherlands had an arrest warrant out for Taghi on murder charges. Morocco also suspects Taghi was behind the 2017 Cafe La Creme shooting in Marrakech. Two gunmen shot and killed a medical student in the incident instead of their target, the cafe’s owner.
Mocro Maffia, in its early days, imported cannabis from Morocco’s northern Rif region into Europe. Today, the mafia also brings in harder drugs from South America.