Belgian fugitive, Mustapha Lahnachi, arrested in the Netherlands after 8 years on the run
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    Belgian fugitive, Mustapha Lahnachi, arrested in the Netherlands after 8 years on the run

    The Moroccan, Mustapha Lahnachi (38), one of the most wanted fugitives by the Belgian federal police, was arrested on Monday in the Netherlands. This information comes from a Belgian police source close to the case. The arrest in Rotterdam, of an individual wanted in Belgium, had been announced earlier in the evening by the Dutch press agency ANP.

    Mustapha Lahnachi (38) is listed amongst “Belgium’s most wanted” fugitives by the Fugitive Active Search Team (FAST), which is part of the federal police. He had escaped, with two other prisoners, on Sunday March 15th, 2009, from Ittre prison. Amongst others, he took a prison guard hostage holding him at knifepoint. The latter was injured but he was set free close to the prison. Lahnachi was sentenced, in October of that same year, by the Nivelles Criminal Court, to six further years in prison for violence committed whilst evading capture.

    Information from the Dutch police, communicated by the ANP agency, indicates that Mustapha Lahnachi was living in the Netherlands under a false name. He compromised his personal position when he was obliged to give a DNA sample in another investigation.

    To recap, after the escape took place in 2009, an extensive search had quickly enabled the arrest of Hassan Zaïd, one of the three fugitives, within a wood in Braine-le-Château close to the prison. The second wanted prisoner, Ahmed El Yaagoubi, was once again caught in Metz (France), in 2010, after several months on the run. The latter was also going by a false name. He had committed a number of offences in France.

    Lars Andersen
    The Brussels Times