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30 April 2008

Mauritanian police arrest INTERPOL Red Notice fugitive wanted for French tourists’ murder

A Mauritanian man charged in connection with the murder of four French tourists in December 2007 and subject of an INTERPOL Red Notice following his subsequent escape from custody, has today been arrested by police in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott.

Sidi Ould Sidna was apprehended during an overnight operation in which Khadim Ould Semane, the alleged mastermind of an attack against the Israeli embassy in Nouakchott, in February this year, was also detained.

Following his alleged involvement in the fatal attack on the French tourists on December 24, Sidi Ould Sidna was arrested in neighbouring Guinea Bissau on 11 January after travelling through Senegal and Gambia. Subsequently extradited to Mauritania, he escaped from jail on 2 April while being taken to a court in Nouakchott to be interviewed by an examining magistrate.

'INTERPOL’s Red Notice is a proven law enforcement tool that assists police authorities locate and apprehend wanted men who present a threat to public safety. Mauritania’s request for INTERPOL to issue a Red Notice dramatically increased the likelihood of an arrest,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

“'One of INTERPOL’s most important roles is to support law enforcement authorities worldwide to protect the public from dangerous escaped fugitives. We commend the authorities in Mauritania for working closely with INTERPOL on this case and for making the arrest.”

Many INTERPOL member countries view a Red Notice, or international wanted persons notice, as the basis for the provisional arrest of a wanted person. It can be requested by any of INTERPOL’s member countries, and is issued by INTERPOL’S General Secretariat in Lyon, France and remains in effect until the wanted fugitive is extradited.