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15 April 2011 - Media release

INTERPOL hunt for international fugitives leads to numerous arrests across South America

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – An INTERPOL operation targeting 207 internationally-wanted fugitives wanted for serious crimes including murder, kidnapping, organized crime and child sexual abuse believed to be hiding in South America has led to arrests across the continent and new investigative leads established for almost a quarter.

Investigative leads developed following the appeal to the public for assistance on Monday 11 April, have led to the arrest of further 13 individuals, bringing the current total to 34 fugitives arrested or located under Operation INFRA-SA (International Fugitive Round-Up and Arrest – South America) in less than a month.

An important development has been the provision of information on the possible location of almost a quarter of the wanted persons, including six of the 20 key targets highlighted in the public appeal.

“The public response to this operation has been very positive and we would encourage anyone with details on any of these fugitives to contact us, and be assured that their information will be treated in confidence,” said Stefano Carvelli, Assistant Director of INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support (FIS) unit which is co-ordinating Operation INFRA-SA.

“We will continue to work with all of our member countries to locate and arrest not just the targets of Operation INFRA-SA, but all internationally-wanted criminals who believe they can evade justice,” added Mr Carvelli.

The operation, which was launched on 14 March from INTERPOL’s Buenos Aires Regional Bureau, saw investigators from the 34 participating countries working together to directly share case details on their suspects. Law Enforcement Agencies across the world have been supporting the operation providing investigative feed back through their INTERPOL National Central Bureaus, co-ordinated by the INFRA –SA team.

“The success of Operation Infra-SA is not just in the number of arrests which have been made, but also in strong co-operation and support between the countries and officers involved,” said Vanessa Gonçalves Leite de Souza, INFRA-SA’s Project Manager.

“What is also important is that a clear message has been sent out to all fugitives, not just the targets of this operation, that INTERPOL and all of its member countries will continue our efforts in finding them and bringing them to justice, no matter where they are, or how long they have been on the run.”

The final stage of the operation, which runs until 3 June, will see officers at the Regional Bureau, the General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France and the involved National Central Bureaus carefully assess and analyse the information provided to ensure that all investigative leads are followed.

Anyone with information on the targets of Operation INFRA-SA, or any internationally-wanted persons can send an email to INTERPOL’s fugitive Unit.

Supported by US and Canadian authorities, the participating countries in INFRA-SA are: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, United States, Uruguay and Venezuela.