Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 3 July 2020

Danish crime boss Amir Mekky arrested in Dubai sting operation

The gang leader has eluded security forces across Europe

An international gang leader wanted by Interpol has been arrested in Dubai.

In a sting operation, security officers in the emirate arrested Amir Faten Mekky, a Danish citizen, on June 3.

Mr Mekky is associated with one of the world’s most notorious international criminals, Radwan Al Taghi, the head of the Angels of Death gang, who was arrested in Dubai in December 2019 and handed over to the Netherlands.

Special forces from the State Security Service in Dubai raided Mr Mekky’s residence around midnight on Wednesday and he was taken into custody.

Officers zeroed in on the suspect and monitored his movements before arresting him.

A video shared by Dubai Media Office showed Mr Mekky throwing rubbish outside his home.

Swedish police confirmed the arrest of one of the country's most wanted men. Although he is Danish, Mr Mekky is alleged to be a central figure in the gang underworld in Malmo in the south of the country, near Denmark. "We have confirmed that he has been arrested in Dubai," Petra Stenkula, head of the Regional Investigation Unit at Police Region South, told the Expressen newspaper.

The reports said two brothers, aged 33 and 32, were the suspected gang leaders and still at large. Mr Mekky was a lieutenant of the drug lords.

A video issued by the authorities showed a report in British media about a hit on an Albanian-born man in central London in late 2019. Fears that the man, who was shot in front of his wife and infant child, was subject to a contract killing were reported at the time and the murder has never been solved. Flamur Beqiri, 36, had left his homeland as child and his parents had ended up in Sweden. The record producer lived in a modest terraced house in London's Battersea district before his execution.

At the time Mr Mekky was running a drug and crime network in southern Spain known as Los Suecos, or 'the Swedes'. His henchmen were alleged to have planted bombs in rivals' storage facilities, conducted kidnappings, shootings and burnt down cafes.

A raid by 120 police on his Spanish base only one month before Mr Beqiri was shot in the back and head saw Mr Mekky flee and his whereabouts had been unknown until he was picked up in Dubai. Reports said a $250,000 watch was among the valuables seized by Spanish police.

Mr Mekky is wanted for two murders and a series of arson attacks by the Spanish authorities. The Los Suecos gang has been blamed for the murder of Spanish drug lord David Avila Ramos, the 'Maradona' kingpin of Marbella drug runners.

Before fleeing Sweden, Mr Mekky had been arrested by police on charges of murder and attempted murder carried out in Malmo but the charges could not be stood up. Mr Mekky received $22,000 in compensation for wrongful arrest.

It is alleged that Mr Mekky remains a central target of Operation Mellerud. Malmo Police and the Customs Administration Malmo have involved a number of authorities such as the Swedish Tax Agency, the Swedish Criminal Authority, the Employment Service and the Prison and Probation Service. Investigators believe that the main suspects travelled frequently between Sweden, Spain and Morocco as they built up their drugs network.

The arrest operation was carried out despite restrictions on movement in Dubai during the coronavirus pandemic, in compliance with UAE law and in accordance with international legal standards.

“All necessary measures were taken and a legal team was formed in co-operation with the Public Prosecution in Dubai and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, which issued an arrest warrant,” a spokesman said in a statement from the Dubai Media Office.

The official said according to intelligence inputs, Mr Mekky had entered the UAE on November 14, 2018, using a different passport.

He is currently being investigated and preparations are under way to hand him over to the relevant authorities.

According to the spokesman, Mr Mekky is wanted for murder, drug trafficking and money laundering. In Europe, he evaded arrest for several years as he used multiple passports to travel.

“The high-profile arrest sends a clear message that Dubai will not tolerate international criminal activities even if the crimes have not been committed in the UAE. It also emphasised the UAE’s commitment to fulfil its responsibilities towards combating transnational crime,” the spokesman said.

Updated: June 5, 2020 07:33 PM

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