Judicial cooperation between France and the United Arab Emirates, so far sporadic or even non-existent, is it changing in nature? The arrest on Thursday February 18 in Dubai, at French request by local police officers, of French Hakim Berrebouh, 40, presented as a major drug trafficker in the Marseille region, could be part of a new dynamic.

As revealed Provence, Hakim Berrebouh, nicknamed “the Marcassin”, was arrested as he left a residence where he had taken up residence at the end of 2020 after leaving Morocco, where he lived. Targeted by an international arrest warrant issued by the investigating judge Valéry Muller as part of a judicial investigation opened to the interregional jurisdiction of Marseille for drug trafficking, he should be extradited to France very soon.

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According to information from World, it is the analysis of phones, in particular that of one of his lieutenants, seized in 2016 during another homicide investigation, and the bypassing of their PGP encryption protocol that made it possible to uncover the facts incriminating Hakim Berrebouh.

Several tons of cannabis every month

Originally from the city of Flamingos, in the 14e arrondissement of Marseille, it is suspected, at least for the year 2016, of having allowed the arrival in the city of several tons of cannabis each month from Morocco where he lived and where almost all of the cannabis resin consumed in France. In particular, the investigators have unambiguous accounting information on the nature and size of the trade in question.

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In The Shadow War, the black book of drug trafficking in France (Denoël, 2020), journalist Claire Andrieux assures us that Berrebouh had joined forces with a Franco-Moroccan nicknamed “Mouf” and presented as the number one drug trafficker in France.

Hakim Berrebouh had left France for Morocco in order to escape the bloody confrontation between his clan, associated with the Tir family, and the Remadnias for the supremacy of cannabis trafficking in the Marseille city. A war that had caused many deaths, including Hakim Berrebouh’s own brother, Mehdi, who was killed in April 2014 at the age of 27. Chased on the A7 motorway towards Marseille by a BMW, he was killed in the middle of traffic by a commando armed with Kalashnikovs. Shortly before, Hakim Berrebouh had himself been the target of an assassination attempt at the end of 2013.

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