Mohamed Djeha, one of the main drug traffickers in France, was arrested in Algeria

The French-Algerian Mohamed Djeha, alias “Mimo”, one of the biggest drug traffickers in France and number 1 in drug trafficking in Marseille, was arrested last Thursday in Algeria.

Presented as one of the biggest drug traffickers in France, Mohamed Djeha, known as “Mimo”, who began his criminal ascent in Marseille, was arrested on Thursday, June 15, in Algeria after years of tracking.

“It is a very big catch because he is someone who can be considered number 1 in drug trafficking in Marseille, but he also organized the importation of narcotics to other French regions”, as either cannabis or cocaine, commented to AFP a source familiar with the case: “He is one of the biggest French traffickers” and was on the list of “targets of priority interest” for the French Office of Anti-Narcotics (Ofast).

The arrest was carried out by Algerian police on Thursday in Oran (northwest Algeria), Marseille prosecutor Dominique Laurens and police sources told AFP, confirming information from the Journal du Dimanche.

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin thanked the investigators for their work and “the Algerian authorities for their cooperation”.

French-Algerian dual citizenship

“This arrest took place after the trip in May of Ofast (the French Office for the fight against drugs, ed. note) to Algeria, then the director general of the police and the central director of the judicial police in June, to discuss the cooperation between two countries and in particularly the situation of Mr. Djeha,” another source familiar with the matter told AFP.

“The French judicial authorities have denounced the facts (for which he was convicted in France, ed. note) in Algeria, so that he can be prosecuted there,” added this source, ruling out in advance any possibility of extradition in this 40-year-old – old, who has dual French-Algerian citizenship.

Born on September 21, 1981 in Béjaïa (250 kilometers east of Algiers), Mohamed Djeha Idri, 41, nicknamed “Mimo” but also sometimes “Papipaolo” or “Suarez”, was the subject of an arrest since 2019 after 10 years . prison sentence in an extensive case of money laundering of drug trafficking in Marseille, in the city of La Castellane.

Chefs abroad

He was also sentenced in May this year, in his absence, to 30 years’ criminal imprisonment by the Assize Court of Aix-en-Provence, found guilty of ordering an assassination committed on the A55 motorway near Marseilles in 2017.

Many districts in France’s second city are plagued by drug trafficking – mainly cannabis – and the wars over control of sales outlets are increasingly deadly. In 2022, around 30 people lost their lives in traffic-related settlements. Since the beginning of this year, 23 people have been killed, including a mother who could be a bilateral victim, on May 10.

The victims are generally young men, sometimes teenagers, placed at the bottom of the trade ladder, the big bosses, like Mohamed Djeha, are hiding abroad, in the Middle East, the Maghreb or Spain.

“Since 2018 and the first trial, ‘Mimo’ has no longer stayed in France. We knew he traveled between Dubai, Algeria and Morocco,” a source with knowledge of the case told AFP. It was only recently that investigators were sure he had settled in Algeria and was avoiding Dubai for fear of being arrested there and then handed over to French courts.

“Intelligence Center”

For several years, Ofast has prioritized tracking down major human traffickers, often based abroad, thanks in particular to an “intelligence unit” of around thirty people, with some major successes.

In March 2021, another trafficker believed to be a drug lord on French territory, French-Algerian Moufide Bouchibi, was arrested in Dubai and then transferred to France. A few months later, a man suspected of leading a major drug trade in Marseille, Hakim Berrebouh, was also arrested in Dubai and handed over to French courts.

Recently, Karim Harrat alias “Rantanplan”, a Marseilles wanted for a series of organized gang murders committed between 2018 and 2020 in connection with drug trafficking and who had fled to Dubai and then to Morocco, was extradited to France. .

With AFP

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