‘Just tell us you’re safe’
Family’s plea to man who ‘fled country’ after delivery driver’s killing
24 December, 2020 — By Bronwen Weatherby
Takieddine ‘Taki’ Boudhane and, right, Nathan Smith
THE family of a missing man who is wanted by police in connection with the murder of a delivery driver in Finsbury Park are appealing for him to get in touch with them.
Nathan Smith, 27, has now been placed on Europol’s “Most Wanted Fugitives” list. Detectives have been attempting to trace him since the fatal stabbing of Takieddine “Taki” Boudhane in January.
The Tribune revealed earlier this year how police believed Mr Smith had fled the country the day after Mr Boudhane was killed.
He is said to have initially travelled to Austria and on to Switzerland, but officers say they are confident he has now moved elsewhere in Europe or has possibly gone further afield.
Police at the scene of the attack in January
There is a £10,000 reward for information leading to the identification, arrest and prosecution of Taki’s killer.
Now, Mr Smith’s own family say they want to know where he is.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil John said: “Nathan’s family are understandably worried about their son, having not had any contact with him for almost 12 months. We know that Christmas will be a particularly difficult time for them and we would urge Nathan to think about the pain and distress he is causing his own family.”
DCI John added: “We would also ask him to think about Taki’s loved ones, who have now had to spend nearly a full year without their brother or son. Unlike Nathan’s family, they know he is never coming back.”
Mr Boudhane, a 30-year-old Algerian national living in Enfield, was stabbed while out working as a delivery driver on his motorbike.
Flowers left in memory of Takieddine ‘Taki’ Boudhane
It is believed there was a traffic altercation in Lennox Road, near Charteris Road, with the driver of a white VW Caddy-type van on January 3.
The incident escalated and the van driver is believed to have followed Mr Boudhane’s motorbike before confronting him. Mr Boudhane was later stabbed in the chest.
Despite the efforts of emergency services, he was pronounced dead at the scene shortly afterwards.
Following his death there was an outpouring of grief from Mr Boudhane’s friends, family and the wider community. People who knew him said he was a “gentleman” who was “friendly” and “respected by everyone”.
His brother, Islam, was the first family member to arrive at the scene and described the moment he knew Mr Boudhane was dead. He later said: “All he wanted to do was to get money to send home and build himself a good life. He wasn’t into drugs or gangs or anything like that. He just wanted a wife and kids, and to make my parents proud.”
Mr Boudhane’s mother and brother
After flying to the UK from Algeria, Mr Boudhane’s mother, Saida, said: “He came here to do a very honourable job. It’s not a job that’s meant to be dangerous.”
Flowers were left close to where Taki died and dozens of delivery drivers, among whom his death was felt keenly, escorted the ambulance carrying his body to Finsbury Park Mosque.
Mr Boudhane’s murder prompted police, councillors and other officials to tackle the dangers faced by delivery drivers in north London in order to prevent any further deaths, as more and more workers came forward to say they too had faced violence.
A European Arrest Warrant is out for Mr Smith’s arrest and enquiries continue in several countries, with assistance from the National Crime Agency.
He is described as a white male, 6ft 3ins and of slim build, with dark hair. He usually has a dark beard although this may have been shaved off. He also has a tattoo on his right forearm that reads “count your blessings”. He has links to north London, particularly Islington, Camden and Kentish Town.
Call the police incident room on 0208 358 0100 if you have information about Mr Smith’s whereabouts or the incident itself.
Information can also be provided online via https://mipp.police.uk/operation/01MPS20Q52-PO1