Las autoridades policiales comparten imágenes del prófugo sicario que escapó de prisión y solicitan la colaboración de la ciudadanía para localizarlo.

The escape of El Pastilla from the Madrid II Penitentiary Center occurred on the eve of Christmas Eve under circumstances that Institutions Penitentiaries are still investigating. The initial investigations point to at least four security failures that led to the prisoner being able to calmly walk out of the prison through the main door. The surveillance footage from the facility detailed the journey taken by the escapee from the communications module, where they had planned to have a face-to-face visit with four relatives, to the exit control. Supposedly, the escapee mingled with people visiting other inmates to go unnoticed and, after finding an open door, left the prison without being stopped. The initial investigations suggest possible negligence on the part of several prison officials and civil guards.

Mohamed Lehrech had been in pretrial detention for eight months accused of being responsible for two murders. The first one took place on October 6, 2022, when he allegedly killed a worker from the port of Algeciras (Cádiz) on behalf of Nayim K. A., Tayena, the leader of a drug-trafficking gang in which the now fugitive was a member at the time. The investigation revealed that the victim of that crime was not the target of the drug traffickers, but El Pastilla made a mistake because he was using a similar vehicle to the one driven by a member of a rival group, the Piolines, whom they wanted to assassinate.

The second homicide for which he is accused occurred on April 12 of this year and was of Tayena himself, who had been his boss, allegedly shooting him at close range in the abdomen as he left his house in Los Cortijillos, in Los Barrios, also in the province of Cádiz. El Pastilla was captured in Algeciras while trying to board a ferry bound for Ceuta to hide. When he was arrested, Mohamed Lehrech admitted to the Civil Guard the crime and claimed to have thrown the gun used into the sea. The police also implicate him in a shootout that occurred in early April in the Juan Carlos I neighborhood of Ceuta, in which no one was injured, and the investigation links it to the open war between rival clans at the time to control drug trafficking on the outskirts of the autonomous city.

After his imprisonment, El Pastilla was included by Penitentiary Institutions in the Special Monitoring Inmate File (FIES), a system created more than 25 years ago to increase control over certain prisoners and thus “guarantee security” within prisons. Specifically, he was classified as FIES-5, one of the five existing files that is intended for what are known as “special characteristics” prisoners, including those accused of organized crime or particularly serious offenses, as was his case.

Since then, he had been in the Botafuegos prison in Algeciras, but at the beginning of December, he was transferred due to the risk of being attacked by other inmates associated with the gang of his second victim. The destination was the Alcalá-Meco prison, a reference center for inmates under 21 years old, from which he managed to escape.

Specialized writer in topics related to the Ministry of Interior and Courts. In his free time, he writes for El Viajero and Gastro. He joined EL PAÍS in March 2017 after a professional career of more than 30 years in Ya, OTR/Press, Época, El Confidencial, Público, and Vozpópuli. He holds a degree in Journalism from the Complutense University of Madrid.

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