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04 October 2013 - Media release

Bahrain million dollar watch raid suspects arrested following issue of INTERPOL Red Notices

LYON, France – Three men suspected of being part of a gang which robbed a Rolex shop in Bahrain whilst disguised as women have been arrested in Albania and Bahrain following the issue of INTERPOL Red Notices or internationally wanted persons alerts.

The six thieves broke into the shop in the city centre mall after it closed at 10pm, and attacked and injured the guard before escaping with 79 Rolex watches worth USD 1.4 million.

Evidence gathered from the scene enabled police to identify the suspects and the National Central Bureau in Bahrain requested the issue of Red Notices, which were immediately circulated to all 190 member countries.

One week after the 10 September robbery, one of the suspects, 35-year-old Kosovan national Ekrem Gashi, was arrested at the Albanian border when checks by officials revealed he was wanted in connection with the theft. He is now awaiting extradition.

As part of Bahrain’s ongoing investigation and following coordination with a travel agency, two additional suspects were arrested in Bahrain this week, when they were found in possession of most of the stolen watches.

The arrests follow close cooperation between NCB Bahrain, INTERPOL’s Command and Coordination Centre (CCC) and the Middle East and North Africa unit, which continue to liaise in the ongoing search for the remaining suspects.

Emmanuel Leclaire, Assistant Director of the CCC, said the arrests were an example of the results which can be achieved by member countries cooperating via INTERPOL.

“The thorough investigation by Bahrain and their decision to request INTERPOL Red Notices for these fugitives meant their law enforcement colleagues around the world were immediately alerted to their wanted status and could take action, resulting in the arrest of a suspect in Albania,” said Mr Leclaire.

“This arrest, followed by the capture of two additional suspects clearly shows the added value of international police cooperation, and INTERPOL will continue to support Bahrain as their investigation continues,” added Mr Leclaire.

Containing identification details and judicial information about a wanted person, INTERPOL Red Notices are not international arrest warrants, but act as a tool to communicate to police worldwide that a person is wanted by a member country and request that the suspect be placed under provisional arrest pending extradition.

Report from Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior (in Arabic)