with videoDuring a large-scale drug investigation, Rawi Q. (48), wanted by the Netherlands, was arrested in Istanbul. The fugitive Dutchman is believed to be the head of an organization that smuggled no less than 6 tons of cocaine into the Netherlands. According to his lawyer, his client is only in the clothing industry: “I cannot make these accusations.”
Chiel Timmermans, Yelle Tieleman
Feb 3 2024
Rawi Q., from Almere, was spotted internationally. His arrest was announced by the Turkish Interior Minister, Ali Yerlikaya. According to him, Q. and his organization are responsible for large-scale drug trafficking. “In total, he smuggled 6 tons of cocaine to the Netherlands by ship, boat or plane,” the minister writes on X. That amount of drugs has a street value in the hundreds of millions.
Rawi Q. is yet another arrest in Turkey in the fight against international cocaine trafficking. In recent months, 56 fugitive criminals from eighteen different countries have been caught, Yerlikaya previously claimed. “We will never accept that the peace of our people will be disturbed. We will put them in jail one by one,” he says on X. “The state is breathing down the necks of terrorists, organized crime organizations and drug traffickers. And it will always remain that way.’
It is not entirely clear in which case exactly he is wanted in the Netherlands. But the National Public Prosecution Service confirms that Q. was arrested on suspicion of international drug trafficking. Justice does not want to comment further on the case and a spokesperson said that ‘there has not yet been any official confirmation of his arrest’. Five years ago, Rawi Q. stood before the judge in Amsterdam for a minor money laundering case, in which he was sentenced to community service.
Q. is an entrepreneur in the clothing industry, says his lawyer Gerald Roethof. Data from the Chamber of Commerce shows that Q. in the past had, among other things, a clothing store for women’s fashion in Amsterdam’s Bijlmer. “Precisely because Turkey has a large textile industry where high-quality clothing can be produced at competitive prices, he was in Turkey recently,” Roethof responded to the signals that he was in hiding.
The lawyer cannot say much about the suspicions against his client at the moment: “The arrest is early. We don’t have any documents yet, they are now being chased in Turkey. Without a file, I can only say that I cannot place this accusation.”
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