'El Mosca', the drug trafficker freed from the French van, suspected of ordering a murder in Spain

Mohamed Amra, nicknamed the Fly, the prisoner who was freed from a prison van during a deadly assault at a tollbooth near Incarville, northern France, is suspected of ordering the murder of a man from prison last year in Marbella .

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
14 May 2024 Tuesday 16:22
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'El Mosca', the drug trafficker freed from the French van, suspected of ordering a murder in Spain

Mohamed Amra, nicknamed the Fly, the prisoner who was freed from a prison van during a deadly assault at a tollbooth near Incarville, northern France, is suspected of ordering the murder of a man from prison last year in Marbella . The 30-year-old inmate was still at large this Wednesday morning, several hours after the attack whose images have shocked the entire country. Several men with military weapons killed two prison officers around 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday and injured three others, one of them very critical and the others seriously.

The attackers, who got out of a Peugeot and an Audi, did not skimp on the use of violence to rescue their partner - although their lawyer is not clear if this was a settling of scores. The authorities cannot believe the magnitude of the criminal operation that freed the criminal linked to drug trafficking in Marseille, whom they did not consider a criminal so dangerous as to have special surveillance - as the prosecutor had requested on Tuesday, according to Le Figaró -, hence only five officials armed with pistols guarded him. The van was returning from the Rouen court and taking the prisoner back to Évreux prison.

Born in Rouen, capital of Normandy; Amra had a long criminal record, with a total of 13 convictions, although “none to date for (...) drugs,” Paris prosecutor Laure Beccuau told the press. The last sentence, 18 months in prison for housebreaking, was handed down on May 7 by the Évreux court. Since April he had been in the prison of the same town to be tried, but before that he had passed through other prisons in Marseille, Paris and Rouen. He also faced several accusations of “attempted extortion with a weapon and attempted murder” and another for a kidnapping of a young trafficker and a hostage taking that ended in homicide in 2021. Two days before his escape he had tried to saw the bars of the cell.

Another case, especially curious due to its connection with Spain, places Mosca behind the order to murder a Frenchman in Puerto Banús, the luxury marina in Marbella, on July 18, 2023, according to Le Parisien. Images then spread on social networks showed a man with his face covered and carrying an automatic rifle running in all directions and acting with little professionalism. Luckily, there were no victims. The Spanish police suspected the French branch (the attacker was wearing an Olympique Lyon t-shirt).

The investigation by the French judicial police in Rouen concluded that Mosca had ordered the murder of a Frenchman nicknamed Mehdi and originally from Évreux, known for his links to drug trafficking and possibly a rival of his. So far the French justice system has not yet charged him in this case, the Parisian newspaper states.

Amra's lawyer could not believe his client's violent escape yesterday. “It is quite incomprehensible, I cannot imagine that this boy could be involved,” said lawyer Hugues Vigier, on BFMTV television. This operation "does not correspond to the profile I had perceived of him, if he is involved it is because I was really wrong about his performance and what he was capable of," he added.

When the prisoner was returning to the Évreux pretrial detention center, after a hearing before the Rouen judicial court, a Peugeot crashed head-on into the van. Several men got out of the car and an Audi, which had followed the van from the beginning of the journey. They shot at the prison officials unceremoniously and took Mosca away. Both cars were found burned shortly after. The search for the fugitive and his accomplice continues on Wednesday morning by “more than 450 police and gendarmes,” according to Interior Minister Gerald Darmamin. International cooperation has also been activated.

The attack was described as a “shock” by President Emmanuel Macron. “We will be untreatable,” he promised. “We will not spare any effort or means. We will chase them. We will find them and I assure you that they will pay” for the crime they have committed, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal stated yesterday before the National Assembly, which observed a minute of silence.

During the morning of this Wednesday, demonstrations were held in front of the prisons as a sign of “support” for the two prison officials murdered the day before. At the Caen penitentiary center, officials assured that there would be no activities of any kind for prisoners today in the form of protest. “We felt especially affected because we were working with” the victims, Bruno, regional secretary of the Justicia UFAP union, told AFP. All union organizations of the prison administration called for a “Dead Prisons” day on Wednesday.

The prison union, which met with the Minister of Justice, Eric Dupond-Moretti, calls in particular for “the drastic reduction of withdrawals by favoring the use of videoconferences of magistrates or their trips to court” and “a review of the levels escort.” Against the attackers, the agents only had “a simple Sig Sauer (pistol) against weapons of war,” accused Frédéric Liakhoff, secretary of FO-Justice at the Caen penitentiary center.