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23 June 2011 - Media release

Arrest of FBI most wanted and INTERPOL target praised by world police body

LYON, France – The arrest of alleged mob boss James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, one of the FBI’s most wanted and a target of a global INTERPOL fugitive operation, has been welcomed by the world police body.

The 81-year-old American, who is accused of the murder of 19 people in the 1970s and 1980s, and his 60-year-old girlfriend Catherine Greig, who was also the subject of INTERPOL’s Operation Infra-Red (International Fugitive Round-Up and Arrest – Red Notices), were detained near Los Angeles on 22 June after 16 years on the run.

In addition to murder, as the alleged former boss of the Winter Hill gang in Boston, Bulger was also wanted for extortion, membership of a racketeer-influenced corrupt organization and money laundering. Greig was wanted for concealing a person from arrest and both were subject of INTERPOL Red Notices, or internationally wanted persons alerts, issued at the request of the US authorities.

“The arrest of James Bulger and his girlfriend after so many years on the run is testimony to the dedication and tenacity of the FBI officers involved who ensured that these fugitives and their crimes were never forgotten,” said Stefano Carvelli, Assistant Director of INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support unit.

“That he was highlighted as a key target in Operation Infra-Red, INTERPOL’s first major global appeal to the public for information on fugitives, was one of many important steps taken by the US authorities to maintain the pressure on this man and use every resource available to them in his eventual location and arrest.

“It is once again a clear signal for all fugitives everywhere, that no matter how much time has passed, once they are wanted they will remain wanted until brought to justice,” added Mr Carvelli.

INTERPOL’s Operation Infra-Red in July 2010, targeted nearly 450 international fugitives convicted suspected of committing serious offences including murder, rape, child abuse, kidnapping and drug trafficking and has already led to the arrest or location of more than 170 individuals.

Bulger’s arrest on Wednesday came just two days after another Infra-Red target, American national Kenneth Andrew Craig who is accused of sexually abusing two young boys in Florida in 1998, was taken into custody by Brazilian police in Rio de Janeiro.

James 'Whitey' Bulger and his girlfriend Catherine Greig were arrested near Los Angeles after 16 years on the run.