Madrid, (Transatlantic Today) – The new Interpol President Ahmad Al Raisi who is overwhelmed with lawsuits and legal proceedings seems to be under landmark test to show his integrity. Al Raisi who is accused of war crimes and tortured is now under investigations by French court. Spain has now called Emirates to hand over a dangerous criminal and arms dealer? What will happen next?
Via Al Pais- Interpol has requested Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) to immediately arrest the Spanish-Lebanese arms merchant Abdul Rahman El Assir, a regular companion of Juan Carlos I in that country, who has been held since 2019 by two international search and arrest warrants, police sources told EL PAÍS.
Interpol’s order with a red note (detention for extradition) takes place days after an investigation by this newspaper revealed that Abdul Rahman El Assir, 71, disappeared for almost three years and persecuted by the Spanish and French courts, is hiding in Abu Dhabi, where he has frequented the king emeritus for months in his private residence, according to eye The friendship between El Assir and Juan Carlos I is known and dates back decades.
Interpol’s request has been processed by the organization’s office in Madrid after the Fugitive Brigade of the National Police activated the channels of international cooperation after learning from EL PAÍS that the arms merchant lives in Abu Dhabi, a country of 1.45 million inhabitants, where he moves freely. The Interpol office in the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has transferred it, in turn, to the operational groups of the United Arab Emirates police.
Abdul Rahman El Assir, in an image from decades ago.
Abdul Rahman El Assir, in an image from decades ago.
The Spanish police, in addition, have contacted the attaché of the Ministry of the Interior at the Embassy of Spain in Abu Dhabi to convey to the police services of the United Arab Emirates the interest of the authorities in the arrest of the escapee, according to police sources.
Assir vanished on October 4, 2018, when he had been summoned by a Madrid court to be tried for a tax crime for a millionaire tax fraud. The arrest and imprisonment order was issued by the court of the Provincial Court, on March 6, 2019, where he was going to be tried and to which he gave a sit-in on up to four occasions. The request was sent to the SIRENE Bureau in which the alerts of people wanted by the European judicial authorities for their detention for extradition purposes are activated and validated.
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The SIRENE bureaux, created in all the signatory states of the Schengen Agreement, constitute an operational mechanism to support the Schengen Information System (SIS). In its archives the names of hundreds of people claimed for detention by the Spanish courts accumulate.
In the SIRENE system, there is also the search and arrest warrant for extradition against El Assir issued by the French justice system where he was convicted in absentia by Karachigate, a corruption and arms sales scandal in Pakistan. It has been in force since mid-2020 and is persecuted for a financial crime and against property. Part of the commissions for the sale of submarines financed the campaign, in 1995, to the presidency of the French republic of Prime Minister Édouard Balladur.
In Switzerland, where he established his residence in recent years, he has also left a trace. It owes 2.2 million in taxes, according to the Swiss media Bergen Zeitung.
“The arrest warrant for rebellion against El Assir was issued by the court and is still in force. When he is located, he will be made available to the judges,” says a spokesman for the High Court of Justice of Madrid. “It was agreed and announced. Nothing has changed in this case,” responds an official source of the Prosecutor’s Office who requests against the Spanish Lebanese a sentence of eight years in prison, the payment of almost 90 million and compensation to the Treasury of 14,784,602.
For the public prosecution, this arms merchant and international commissioner “consciously omitted” profits of more than 31 million euros and did not file the Personal Income Tax (IRPF) return. The fraud made it easier for him not to pay 12.03 million in 2002 and 2.7 million in 2003.
The Assir has been frequenting the king emeritus for months at his private residence in Abu Dhabi. Eyewitnesses to these meetings interpret that the merchant of arms is using Juan Carlos I as a “shield” to overcome his judicial problems. The Royal House and Juan Carlos I’s lawyer declined to comment.
Paradise of international criminals
The United Arab Emirates belongs to Interpol, like most Arab countries, but its collaboration is not as active as that of its other 194 partners. The response that the authorities of that country will give to the express request of the Spanish police, the police sources consulted recognize is unknown. Spain chairs the European Network of Active Fugitive Search Teams, but lacks influence in Arab countries.
Dubai, one of the main cities of the UAE, is an example of lack of collaboration in the search for fugitives from this federation of seven emirates. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration considers this city a paradise for criminals and international traffickers due to the limited collaboration of its authorities in the fight against international crime. “For the DEA Dubai is currently the refuge of the three main drug traffickers in the world. Collaboration is very difficult,” says a police source.
The Hispanic Lebanese El Assir married Samira, sister of Adnan Kashogui, the influential Saudi arms dealer based in Marbella who died in 2017 and then considered the richest man on the planet. Samira was divorced from the Egyptian businessman and founder of the Harrods warehouses in London, Mohammed Al-Fayed, and with him she had Dodi, who was Diana of Wales’s partner. After his divorce, El Assir married María Fernández-Longoria, daughter of the Spanish ambassador to Egypt, with whom he has had three children and from whom he is separated.
Thanks to his friendship with Juan Carlos I, El Assir attended as a guest in 2004 the wedding of then Prince Philip of Bourbon to Letizia Ortiz. In 2016, he celebrated the wedding of one of his daughters at the Swiss ski resort of Gstaad and chartered a plane for the guests, including the daughter of José María Aznar and her husband, Alejandro Agag, whose liaison he attended in El Escorial, according to the media of the heart.