The Moroccan General Directorate of National Security has arrested two high-profile European criminals in the last six weeks, reinforcing its reputation as an effective law enforcement agency.
Rabat – The Moroccan General Directorate of National Security (DGSN), led by Abdellatif Hammouchi, arrested two high-profile European criminals in the last six weeks, reinforcing its international reputation as an effective law enforcement agency.
On March 18, DGSN arrested Antonio Prinno, a 44-year old Italian suspected of being a leading member of the Mazzarella club, affiliated with the Camorra. On the run since 2014, he was arrested in Ourika near Marrakech. He had been listed on Interpol for premeditated murder and owning firearms.
Two weeks later, on March 29, DGSN arrested the Spanish criminal Roberto Izquierdo Riegi aka “The Russian” in Tetouan. In 2018, Riegi was sentenced to 58 years in prison by the court in Cadiz, Spain, for kidnapping and murder. He escaped prison in November of last year, during a stay at a hospital in Madrid, and was on the run for 5 months.
According to the DGSN, Riego entered Morocco using a fake Spanish passport, before being found and arrested in Tetouan, reported Spanish newspaper El Pais.
Abdellatif Hammouchi has received praise for his leadership of the DGSN and his contribution to cementing the Moroccan police force’s capacities.
DGSN actively works in anti-terrorism, promoting Morocco’s national security.
In early May, DGSN dismantled an eight-person terrorist cell linked to ISIL suspected of “propaganda” and “attempts to carry out terrorist attacks in the Kingdom.”
DGSN also arrested six people in Sale, Rabat’s neighbour city, in connection with terrorism activities on April 23. Throughout March, DGSN also made a number of other arrests linked to terrorism.
Jeune Afrique, one of Africa’s most widely read magazines, listed Hammouchi among “Africa’s most influential personalities in 2019” last month. The magazine lauded the “incomparable” success of Hammouchi’s four-year tenure as the head of DGSN, describing him as “the nightmare of terrorists.”
Morocco’s expertise in this field has international value. Following the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka on 21 April, DGSN cooperated closely with India and Sri Lanka, to identify suspects.
According to the Indian press agency IANS, DGSN shared key information within 48 hours, which contributed to a number of arrests.
Acknowledging Morocco’s leadership in countering terrorism, IANS said that Morocco has “one of the most successful records of counter-terrorism and de-radicalization in the Islamic world.”
DGSN also works to combat illegal immigration and human trafficking, as well as drug trafficking.