Still no trace of Marbella kidnap victim after almost three years
National Police officers are investigating eight people for the «drug trafficking-related» disappearance of the individual, and have carried out simultaneous raids in Marbella, Estepona, Fuengirola and Mijas
Almost three years ago Jamal, a Dutch national of Moroccan origin, was kidnapped by a group of criminals posing as police officers. The whereabouts of the Dutchman, a father of five who was 31 years old when he was abducted, remain unknown.
The events took place on the night of 22 August 2020, the first summer of the pandemic. After dining at a Costa del Sol restaurant, Jamal went with his wife to Puerto Banús and were driving back to the luxury flat they had rented in Nueva Andalucía, when their car was rammed and then blocked by another.
Several men got out of both cars, but they have not yet been identified. One of them had blond hair and blue eyes. The other had curly hair. The face masks, which were mandatory at the time, helped to hide their faces.
Hit over head with pistol
Jamal's wife recalls that they spoke «poor quality» Spanish and English. She was warned: «Stay still inside the car or I'll shoot you».
Jamal was pulled out and pushed against the car. «Then,» she told police officers, «they began to hit him over the head with a pistol, causing him to fall to the ground.» They then bundled him into the black car and fled the scene at high speed.
A few months ago a suspect was arrested in France. He was released after being handed over to the judicial authorities.
Now, following an extensive investigation, officers from Spain's National Police's organised crime group have identified seven other people who, according to the investigations, could have a more or less direct link to the illegal detention of the Dutchman.
Last week, police coordinated an operation to arrest those under investigation with simultaneous raids in Marbella, Estepona, Fuengirola and Mijas.
Officers arrested two of the targets in Marbella and requested an international search warrant for the rest of those under investigation. A few days ago, a third suspect was arrested. The others have not yet been located by the police and it is believed that they could be abroad. Of the four arrested to date, none of them have been imprisoned.
'Successful businessman in the real estate sector'
Jamal's family portrays the kidnappee as a successful businessman in the real estate sector and the purchase and sale of luxury watches, although the police point out in their investigation that his kidnapping was related to drug trafficking.
On 15 August, just a week before his disappearance, Jamal was robbed at a petrol station in Marbella. Although he struggled with the assailants, they succeeded in their aim, which was to steal his Richard Mille watch, valued at 400,000 euros.
The investigation points to a possible debt of 1.7 million euros owed by a family member as a possible motive for the kidnapping. However, the family has reportedly not received proof of life or a ransom demand, despite the fact that Jamal was very wealthy.
The first clue found in the investigation into his whereabouts pointed to a villa in Estepona. This was provided in November 2020 by a brother of the victim, but did not lead to any concrete results.
Dutch police also picked up a conversation in a chat room where there was discussion of a kidnapped person who, according to the information provided, could be Jamal. A judge authorised a search of a farm in Coín owned by British nationals but the victim was not located.
Despite the progress made in the investigation, Jamal's whereabouts remain a mystery to this day.
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