Rabat - Morocco has demanded the extradition of one of its nationals from the Netherlands, urgently calling its ambassador to The Hague for consultation.
Rabat – Morocco has demanded the extradition of one of its nationals from the Netherlands, urgently calling its ambassador to The Hague for consultation.
A communique published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation disclosed that it had “found information revealing the involvement of a drug dealer, without citing his name, in fueling protests in the north of the Kingdom of Morocco.”
Since the release of the ministry’s communique, which did not disclose the identity of the wanted man, speculations have been running wild. Moroccan local media, however, managed to uncover the identity of the wanted drug dealer, who is none other than Said Chaou, a former member of the Moroccan parliament.
According to the ministry, Chaou “has been seeking for months to provide funding and logistical support to the ongoing protests in northern Morocco.” The press release stated that Morocco had in fact contacted the Dutch authorities about the crimes of a smuggler of Moroccan origin living in the Netherlands.
The former parliamentarian is known for his opinions in favor of the independence of the Rif. Just last June, he contacted the Secretary General of the UN, denouncing what he called Morocco’s “forceful occupation” of the Rif, and claiming the region’s right to “self-determination.”
Aside from his notorious political views, Chaou was the subject of two international arrest warrants issued by the Moroccan judiciary concerning involvement in a criminal gang in 2010, and international drug trafficking 2015.
For Moroccan officials, Chaou is “seeking revenge from Morocco, because his income from drug trafficking has been drained.” Morocco, which has always “loyally cooperated in the fight against drug trafficking, cannot tolerate a well-known trafficker acting to recreate a situation favorable to its criminal activities,” adds the same source.
In view of the current situation, “Morocco reserves the right to draw all the consequences and implications that would be necessary in the bilateral relations and to take the necessary political and diplomatic measures,” stresses the ministry. Thus, the return of the Moroccan ambassador to The Hague will be “examined” by Morocco “according to the evolution of this file.”