Dubai extradites key figure in several Antwerp drug cases

Dubai has agreed to extradite Nordin el Hajjioui to the Belgian authorities, Justice minister Paul Van Tigchelt announced on Thursday evening. After his 2016 conviction, the central figure in several drug cases in Antwerp fled to the United Arab Emirates.

In Antwerp, El Hajjioui, also known as Dikke Nordin van den Dam (Fat Nordin of the Dam), was sentenced to 40 months in prison, suspended, for drug trafficking. Following this conviction, he fled to Dubai in 2016. However, according to the Antwerp public prosecutor's office, he continued to control operations from there and facilitated the smuggling of cocaine into the port of Antwerp. He is now also charged with drug trafficking.

Several attempts

In recent years, the Antwerp judiciary has made several attempts to extradite Nordin to face drug trafficking charges. The Dubai Court of Cassation has agreed, despite Nordin's repeated appeals. His extradition was requested under the treaty between the United Arab Emirates and Belgium.

Tigchelt welcomes the extradition from the United Arab Emirates to Belgium. "We are seeing results after signing an extradition treaty in Abu Dhabi in December 2021," he said. "We have submitted several extradition requests. There was a first extradition in December last year, but it was an extradition that the Antwerp public prosecutor's office had been requesting for almost four years."

"We can only prosecute them for their crimes through increased international cooperation"

"Organised crime is crossing our borders with serious consequences for the security of our citizens," said Foreign minister Hadja Lahbib. "Criminals try to evade prosecution in our country. We can only prosecute them for their crimes through increased international cooperation."

It is not yet clear when El Hajjioui will be extradited. Once in Belgium, he will be immediately sent to prison. He faces a 20-year prison sentence.


#FlandersNewsService | Antwerp Assizes Court © BELGA PHOTO WIM KEMPENAERS

Related news

Website preview
Alleged ringleader in major Belgian cocaine trial faces 20 years in prison
Belgian federal prosecutors on Monday demanded the maximum prison sentence of 20 years for Bilal I, 35, one of the alleged ringleaders in the...

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels