In this short story, Othman El Ballouti, a businessman from Belgium identified as a drug trafficker, will be the subject of important revelations. You must read all of my remarks carefully if you want to learn about the things and people connected to him.
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Othman El Ballouti: Why did he turn into a drug dealer?
Othman El Ballouti is described as a “high-level drug trafficker” by the US Treasury Department. He is in charge of an international gang that smuggles cocaine into Belgium through the port of Antwerp and distributes it across Europe.
Younes El Ballouti, Othamn’s younger brother, assists him in his work. Through businesses with headquarters in the People’s Republic of China, illicit funds are “laundered.” Belgian authorities want them as a result of their involvement in drug trafficking.
Othman El Ballouti, a businessman dubbed one of Europe’s leading cocaine traffickers by Belgian tabloids, has been evading Belgian authorities since 2016. They believe he is hiding out in Dubai. The emirate is now home to a man by the name of Othman El Ballouti, according to a real estate database that was recently exposed.
Othman El Ballouti disputed the allegation made by Belgian media that he operated a sizable cocaine import operation out of the Antwerp port in Belgium.
He was frequently referred to in their reporting as one of the largest drug lords in the Low Countries with connections to rival gangs.
According to sources, all of his holdings are worth a minimum of 100 million euros ($118 million), according to Gazet van Antwerpen.
Othman El Ballouti disputes the allegation made by Belgian media that he operates a sizable cocaine import company out of the Antwerp port in Belgium. He is frequently referred to in their coverage as one of the largest drug lords in the Low Countries with connections to multiple rival gangs.
His total assets are estimated to be valued at least 100 million euros ($118 million) by sources, according to Gazet van Antwerpen.
According to Gazet van Antwerpen, he was detained at the Brussels airport in 2016 after the authorities linked funds he had given to a Muslim school in Antwerp to “illegal sources.” The article said that El Ballouti left the nation after being granted probationary freedom.
Dubai was where he was last seen, according to the head investigator of the drug unit of the Federal Police of Antwerp.
Since 2012, drug distribution wars between Belgian and Dutch-Moroccan gangs have raged in both countries. Two of the largest drug ports in Western Europe, Antwerp, and Amsterdam, have seen over 20 fatal shootings in recent years.
The Othman El Ballouti dynasty has yet to succeed in avoiding the effects of these power battles.
Younes “El Magico” El Ballouti, the younger brother of El Ballouti, was taken in 2016 as he left a gym and was walking down a street in Antwerp.
According to Gazet van Antwerpen, Othman El Ballouti was reportedly asked to pay the kidnappers tens of millions of euros in exchange for the release of his brother.
They then transported Younes to France, where he managed to flee after five weeks and seek assistance from the local police.
El Ballouti admitted to the police that the plan’s organizer was the Dutch drug kingpin Houssine Ait Soussan. According to rumors, Ait Soussan sought revenge on El Ballouti for being cut off from the Antwerp cocaine smuggling route.
Four men from Paris were detained by Dutch police in 2017 and sent to Belgium for extradition for the kidnapping. Later on, two others were also charged with kidnapping Abdelkader Bouker, an Antwerp drug boss known as “The Jew.”
El Ballouti is included in a leaked database of property and residency information created by various real estate experts that the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project was able to access through C4ADS. Eleven properties in Dubai bearing his name are linked to a total market value of around US$ 8.5 million.
The Mira townhouses in Reem, which local real estate agents describe as an exotic “relaxed” neighborhood away from the bustle of the city, are home to four of these properties, each worth roughly $2 million. It offers “an exclusive desert botanical park, camping infrastructure, sand surfing, and camel riding trails, [a] go-karting track, beach buggies, [a] climbing wall, and a skate park.”
In the Discovery Gardens, an apartment high-rise complex targeted at singles and young couples, he is noted as having sold two more houses that are situated there. Currently, they are valued at roughly $244,000 each.
Othman El Ballouti also owns a piece of real estate in the Address Residence Sky View, an opulent hotel and apartment building under construction in Dubai that was supposed to be finished last year.
An infinity pool, ballroom, and restaurant are all part of the two-tower complex, which is one of a kind in terms of architecture. In today’s market, apartments in this opulent building of El Ballouti’s size go for roughly $1.4 million.
What is a Red Flag?
A red flag serves as a signal or sign that there may be an underlying issue or danger associated with a company’s stock, financial statements, or news reports. These indicators can come in many forms and are often identified by analysts or investors as any notable undesirable trait.
Othman El Ballouti: How did Belgium become the entry point for cocaine into Europe?
As the primary entrance point for cocaine into Europe, Antwerp’s harbor has a questionable claim to fame. However, critics point out that Belgium’s central government is ineffective and its fragmented law enforcement apparatus. Can Belgium ever triumph in the drug war?
The death of a suspected drug lord’s niece in Antwerp happened one night only hours before a joint Belgian-Dutch declaration that 2022 was once again a record-setting year for cocaine seizures in the port of Antwerp.
According to authorities and local media, the 11-year-old girl lost her life after unidentified shooters opened fire into a garage that evening in the calm Nieuwdreef neighborhood.
She was the niece of Othman el Ballouti, a 36-year-old man from Dubai who Belgium accuses of smuggling huge amounts of cocaine through the port of Antwerp. So far, extradition requests have been rejected by the UAE.
The young girl’s death was the most recent of more than 50 shootings, bombings, and other attacks to hit Antwerp since August as the cartels that control the majority of this unprecedented cocaine business started campaigns of violence and intimidation against one another in a fight for control of the multibillion-euro industry.
110 metric tons of cocaine were found in Antwerp, the biggest physical port in Europe, in 2022, which was a record amount. Kristian Vanderwaeren, the head of Belgium’s customs, announced his Dutch counterparts. Vanderwaeren had previously declared last month that a 10 metric-ton burst at the end of the year would bring a “White Christmas” to Antwerp.
Othman El Ballouti, who was in Dubai at the time of his niece’s murder, released a statement afterward in which he denied any involvement in drug trafficking and promised that his family would not retaliate violently.
Othman El Ballouti responded cryptically, that they would answer, but not in the way the mayor of Antwerp thinks.
Based on information obtained through a 2020 hack of Sky ECC encrypted phones by government authorities in Belgium, the Netherlands, and France, Othman El Ballouti and a second trafficker sheltering in Dubai, Nordin al Hajjoui, have been charged in Belgium with transporting tons of cocaine through Antwerp.
The increase in 2022 statistics, according to Belgian officials, shows that the northern ports continue to be the primary point of entry for Europe, despite the hundreds of cases developed from the Sky ECC evidence being partially to blame for the record-breaking cocaine seizures in 2021.
According to the official, “probably half of the cocaine in Europe right now is coming through Antwerp, Rotterdam, or nearby ports controlled by the same cartels.”
“There is more tension in the drug environment in Antwerp because there is a lot of money and power at stake there.”
An Antwerp-based cartel‘s property has been blasted at least a dozen times. Antwerp has experienced several shootings and explosives, typically done more to terrify than to kill. The terrible exception was the shooting of the niece of Othman El Ballouti.
Othman El Ballouti: Drug Trafficker targeted by Treasury sanctions
Abolishing drug trafficking in Belgium:
Three Belgian nationals, encompassing high-level drug trafficker Othman El Ballouti, his younger brother Younes El Ballouti, and his colleague Youssef Ben Azza, were sanctioned by OFAC. To distribute large amounts of cocaine throughout Europe, Othman El Ballouti oversees a global criminal enterprise that smuggles containers through the Belgian port of Antwerp.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) and South American cocaine dealers, including Ecuadorian national Wilder Emilio Sanchez Farfan, whom OFAC targeted in February 2022, are connected to Othman El Ballouti’s money laundering and drug supply chain networks. In February of this year, Sanchez Farfan was taken into custody in Colombia.
Younes El Ballouti manages the drug trafficking business run by his brother. Younes El Ballouti was given an 8-year imprisonment term in Belgium in absentia in January 2023 for collaborating in many cocaine shipments.
Youssef Ben Azza, who has been connected to drug trafficking for more than ten years, works with Othman El Ballouti to set up firms that appear to be genuine but are only a cover for the organization’s involvement in illegal activities.
For trafficking cocaine, Belgian authorities are currently looking for Othman El Ballouti, Younes El Ballouti, and Youssef Ben Azza. To avoid prosecution, it is thought that they are residing in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
They were designated by OFAC by E.O. 14059 because they participated in, or attempted to participate in, operations or operations that have physically helped to or constitute an important danger of significantly leading to, the international growth of narcotics that are illicit or their means of manufacturing.
Finally, I can add that Othman El Ballouti has a relative who lives close to the former drugstore. The drug lord is well-known for having this family. He has ties to numerous Antwerp cocaine trafficking cases, according to what I discovered.
Cocaine Seizures Are Increasing in Europe Due to Drug Trafficking
While reading this story, I also learned that drug trafficking is causing a rise in cocaine seizures in Europe. The screenshot up top shows a graphical representation.
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) has released new data showing that record volumes of cocaine were captured in Europe in 2020.
The amount of cocaine seized has increased consistently over the past ten years, as shown by our graph, reaching 214.59 tonnes in 2020, a 6 percent increase from the previous year.
Of the reported nations, Belgium saw the most cocaine trafficked in and seized, with 70.25 tonnes. Following the Netherlands, which obtained 48.89 tonnes, and ahead of Spain, which obtained 36.9 tonnes, was Spain.
These three nations, which each had their biggest seizures on record, accounted for 73% of the total seizures in Europe for the year. The EMCDDA reports that new records were also established in Greece (1.8 tonnes), Bulgaria (1 tonne), Poland (3.9 tonnes), and Turkey (2 tonnes).
According to the official website, Eastern European nations have not historically been linked to cocaine use or trafficking. This demonstrates that “cocaine shipments’ entry points are expanding and that cocaine markets for consumers are growing in eastern Europe, including Turkey,” the research claims.
The data for 2021 from several nations indicates that even more cocaine was confiscated in the EU than the previous year, with about 92 tonnes being intercepted in Belgium, almost entirely in the port of Antwerp. This upward trend appears destined to continue.