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10 November 2008

Arrest of Kazakh murder fugitive in Austria highlights role of international police co-operation

LYON, France – A fugitive Kazakh national wanted in his country for murder and subject of an INTERPOL Red Notice, or international wanted persons’ notice, has been arrested in Austria following an international operation across seven countries co-ordinated via INTERPOL.

Asanali Zhekebayev, aged 33, who is wanted in Kazakhstan following his conviction there for murder, was arrested at Vienna airport on 8 November while in transit from Cyprus to Poland. His movements had been tracked by law enforcement authorities in several countries and relayed to INTERPOL as he travelled across several international borders.

He was arrested by the Austrian authorities by virtue of INTERPOL's Red Notice published at the request of its National Central Bureau (NCB) in Astana, following an arrest warrant issued by Kazakh judicial authorities for murder.

The operation saw the National Central Bureaus of Austria, Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Turkey, Germany, Ukraine, and Poland co-ordinate their actions with the active support of INTERPOL’s Command and Co-ordination Centre (CCC) at its headquarters in Lyon in order to trace, locate and apprehend the wanted fugitive.

'The ability of Zhekebayev to avoid prosecution and cross multiple borders, as well as the threat he posed to public safety, were brought to an end thanks to outstanding international police co-operation from our National Central Bureaus, rapid information sharing and proper use of INTERPOL global tools available 24/7,' said INTERPOL Executive Director of Police Services Jean-Michel Louboutin.

Zhekebayev will now be held in Austria under provisional detention pending his extradition to Kazakhstan.

An INTERPOL Red Notice alerts INTERPOL’s member countries worldwide as to the wanted status of a person and seeks their arrest with a view to their extradition to the country which requested the notice. It can be requested by any INTERPOL member country and is issued by its General Secretariat, in all four of INTERPOL’s official languages – Arabic, English, French and Spanish. A Red Notice remains in effect until the wanted fugitive is extradited.