Dutchman arrested in swoop on alleged Kinahan property to be handed to Dutch authorities

A Dutch man arrested in Dublin during a garda swoop on an alleged Kinahan gang property has had his surrender to Dutch authorities ordered by the High Court.

Dutchman arrested in swoop on alleged Kinahan property to be handed to Dutch authorities

A Dutch man arrested in Dublin during a garda swoop on an alleged Kinahan gang property has had his surrender to Dutch authorities ordered by the High Court.

Naoufal Fassih (aged 36), a Dutch citizen of Moroccan origin, is being sought in the Netherlands to face allegations of attempted murder, assault, possession of false documents and money laundering as well as for an alleged money laundering offence here in Ireland.

The Amsterdam Public Prosecutor issued three European Arrest Warrants (EAWs) in respect of Mr Fassih on various dates in 2016.

He was arrested by gardaí at an apartment believed to belong to the international Kinahan crime gang on Dublin's Baggott Street in April last year and High Court extradition proceedings have been ongoing since then.

In the High Court today, Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly ordered the surrender of Mr Fassih to Dutch authorities on each of the three European Arrest Warrants.

Ms Justice Donnelly said she had considered all of the points of objection raised by Mr Fassih's lawyers and was “quite satisfied to reject them all”.

She awarded legal costs against Mr Fassih on foot of an application by Ronan Kennedy BL, counsel for the Minister for Justice and Equality.

Ms Justice Donnelly said the State should only be entitled to one day's worth of costs because matters had been “staggered” for a period of time.

Mr Fassih made no reaction when the judgment was delivered.

Mr Kennedy, for the State, said the first alleged offence relates to a violent assault at a Dutch nightclub on October 5, 2012.

The prosecutor in Amsterdam said that Mr Fassih is suspected of being involved in a fight that left several people injured, one seriously.

The prosecutor wrote to the Irish authorities last month explaining that a judge in Amsterdam had already discharged Mr Fassih on that charge due to a lack of evidence. However, the prosecutor intends to appeal that judgment and wants Mr Fassih to be there for the appeal.

The second charge relates to over €10,000 in cash that Mr Fassih had on him when he was arrested in 2012. Mr Fassih was on social welfare at the time and refused to explain to the Amsterdam police how he could be in possession of such a sum.

The court heard that he can be prosecuted under Dutch money laundering laws for failing to explain where the cash came from.

The third charge alleges that he was in possession of a false passport.

The warrant for the attempted murder charge was issued last September and relates to a botched assassination on November 5, 2015. The Dutch authorities suspect that he allegedly paid €8,000 to the would-be assassin and gave instructions on how to carry out the killing.

Another European Arrest Warrant was issued after Mr Fassih's arrest in Dublin.

Mr Kennedy said Fassih was in possession of luxury watches worth over €40,000, cash, mobile phones and "other items that can be linked to criminality".

Although the seizure was made in Dublin, Dutch authorities said they can adjudicate on Dutch citizens accused of crimes committed in other jurisdictions.

Mr Fassih's barrister, John Byrne BL, argued that there was no evidence linking his client to the items seized at the Dublin apartment other than that he was present when the raid took place.

He argued that Mr Fassih could not be prosecuted in Ireland in those circumstances and therefore should not face extradition to Holland on those grounds.

Furthermore, the fact that Mr Fassih had already been acquitted on the assault charge meant that the "precise nature" of the proceedings against him were not known, Mr Byrne argued.

In relation to money laundering, Mr Byrne referred to the "expert opinion" of a Dutch lawyer who is acting for Mr Fassih.

The Dutch lawyer, in an affidavit given to the court, said that under Dutch law there is not enough evidence in the warrant to bring a prosecution, and he therefore should not be extradited.

Mr Byrne said the allegation in relation to the false passport is merely that he is a suspect in a crime but the authorities have not decided whether to prosecute. This, he said, would be insufficient grounds for an extradition.

On the attempted murder charge, he said it is not clear from the warrant what the specific charge against Mr Fassih would be, as it is not alleged that he is the hitman.

Ms Justice Donnelly said Mr Fassih's surrender was not prohibited on any of the points raised by Mr Byrne.

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