The criminal chamber of Rabat sentenced the French drug baron Sofiane Hambli to 20 years in prison, in particular for “international drug trafficking”, “money laundering” and “sequestration”, we learned on Friday from a judicial source.
“The criminal chamber of Rabat sentenced Sofiane Hambli to 20 years in prison on Thursday evening for crimes committed at the national level,” a Moroccan judicial source told AFP.
Arrested on October 22, 2021 in Morocco after seven months on the run, this high-flying trafficker was prosecuted in particular for “international drug trafficking”, “money laundering”, “constitution of an organized criminal gang”, “kidnapping”.
He had been apprehended in a clinic in Tangier, where he was being treated after being attacked and seriously injured with a knife in a street of this large port in northern Morocco, a hub for drug trafficking to Europe.
Sofiane Hambli is detained in Salé 2 prison, near the capital Rabat, “under high security given his dangerousness”, specifies Hespress.
This 46-year-old Frenchman of Algerian origin is the key figure in the scandal of the importation into France of seven tonnes of cannabis in 2015, which led to the ousting of the former boss of the fight against drugs, François Thierry , of which he would have been an informant.
Nicknamed “The chimera”, he is also suspected of having received 2.5 million euros for the logistics of a project to import four tonnes of cannabis, accusations which he had denied via his lawyer Hugues Vigier.
The trial in this case, scheduled for last June in Bobigny, in the Paris suburbs, had to be postponed due to his absence.
His temporary extradition, requested by the French prosecutor’s office, was refused by the Moroccan authorities because of the proceedings initiated in the Moroccan courts against Sofiane Hambli, according to local media.
Placed in detention in November 2020 in this case then released under judicial supervision in March 2021 after a favorable decision by the Court of Cassation, the drug trafficker had been notified shortly after of a warrant of deposit by the chamber of the instruction of the Paris Court of Appeal.
Not having appeared in court and the police not having found him, Sofiane Hambli was since considered on the run and Interpol had issued an international arrest warrant against him, via a red notice, at the request of the authorities. French.
Born in Mulhouse (eastern France), the drug trafficker with a heavy criminal record is customary on the run. He had notably been arrested in 2004 in Spain after his escape the previous year from Metz prison.
In 2009, it was still in Spain that he was arrested when a French court sentenced him by default to 18 years in prison.