Sofiane Hambli, a 46-year-old Franco-Algerian, used false papers to check himself into a hospital after suffering a 20-centimetre gash following an assault with a machete or sword in Tangier, the sources said.
“Once he’s recovered, we’ll go to get him,” one of the sources told AFP, confirming information first reported by the L’Obs magazine.
Originally from the eastern French town of Mulhouse, Hambli is considered one of the biggest importers of cannabis to France and has a long criminal record, as well as a history of escaping from detention.
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The man known as the Chimera was named in an international search warrant this year after skipping bail last March in France, having been accused of organising the import of four tonnes of cannabis.
The Parisien newspaper reported at the time that he made €2.4 million from the transaction, but never delivered the drugs to his
buyer “who is thought to have wanted revenge”.
Hambli denied the accusations.
He is also known to have been an informant for France’s anti-narcotics police and was involved in the import of seven tonnes of cannabis in a 2015 operation that was being monitoring by authorities.
One of his associates, Moufide Bouchibi, a 41-year-old Franco-Algerian sometimes called the “king of hash,” was sentenced in France to 16 years in prison last month for drugs offences.