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Unprecedented Exodus of Drug Lords from Belgium Amid Operation Sky ECC

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Safak Costu
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Unprecedented Exodus of Drug Lords from Belgium Amid Operation Sky ECC

The relentless pursuit against organized drug trafficking in Belgium through Operation Sky ECC has triggered an exodus of criminals on an unprecedented scale. High-profile drug lords and their lieutenants, cornered by the long arm of the law, are now seeking refuge in distant havens such as Dubai, Istanbul, and Tangier. In Antwerp, Belgium's drug trafficking hotspot, at least 25 individuals are on the wanted list.

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Notorious Figures in Drug Trafficking

Among these, one figure stands out - Jos Leijdekkers. The 32-year-old trafficker from Antwerp, known by several nicknames such as Holly Joske, Breda Bolle Jos, or El Presidente, is linked to numerous murders. The Netherlands has set a bounty of 400,000 euros for information leading to his capture. Then there's Nordin El H, known as 'Dikke Nordin,' who has made a name for his organizational skills in the Port of Antwerp. Currently, he is in Dubai's custody, with possible extradition hanging over his head.

Criminal Empires Beyond Borders

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Othman El Ballouti, a one-time financier of an Islamic primary school in Mechelen, has extended his empire from Dubai. He is a person of interest for both the Belgian Federal Prosecutor and the U.S. DEA, which has included him and his associates on the OFAC blacklist. Hoesny A, an acknowledged pioneer of cocaine trafficking in Antwerp, has been arrested and released in Dubai. He is sought by France and Belgium for a brutal torture case.

Global Operations and Evading Justice

Eldi D, also known as Denis Matoshi, heads the Albanian criminal organization Kompania Bello, which operates in Dubai, Antwerp, Ecuador, and Colombia. Abdelilah El M, also known as Abdel Noir or Narcos, has been repeatedly convicted for drug trafficking. He was recently apprehended in Istanbul. Isaac B, a Rotterdam criminal and one-time partner of Bolle Jos, has been convicted in Antwerp and arrested in Turkey. Omar G, a former kickboxer turned criminal, is currently on the run in Dubai, evading extradition to Belgium. Mohamed Reda C, implicated in numerous criminal cases including drug trafficking and corruption, has had attempts on his life and has retaliated fiercely against his attackers.

The narcotics market, which is booming in France and Europe, threatens the equilibrium of democratic societies. The narcotics trade generates 3 billion in sales in France, provides 21,000 full-time jobs, and directly or indirectly sustains 240,000 people. The growing uncontrolled violence generated by drug trafficking necessitates a reassessment of France's anti-drug strategy and the need for a genuine Europe-wide cooperative effort.

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