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16 April 2009 - Media release

Arrest of two ‘most wanted’ drugs traffickers by Colombia praised by INTERPOL

LYON, France – The arrests of Daniel Rendon and Ignacio Leal by Colombian authorities have been praised by INTERPOL as a major step forward in the ongoing fight against drug traffickers and terrorists.

Rendon, described as Colombia’s ‘most wanted’ criminal, is believed to be responsible for the export of hundreds of tonnes of cocaine and was captured on Wednesday in north-western Colombia.

Leal, suspected of running drug trafficking operations for FARC in northeast Colombia, was arrested on Monday. Both men were the subject of INTERPOL Red Notices, or international wanted persons alerts, issued at the request of Colombia.

“These arrests are a credit to all the law enforcement officials involved in the operations during the past months which were achieved as a result of hard work and patience,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

Mr Noble recently completed a three-week mission in Central and South America to encourage regional and international co-operation, during which he met with Colombia’s national police chief, General Oscar Naranjo.

“It is clear from my discussions with General Naranjo that the Colombian police are fully committed to combating all types of crime, including drug trafficking and terrorism and INTERPOL will continue to offer Colombia any support it requires to advance in this fight.

“One of the ways we can assist all of our member countries is through the issue of Red Notices which significantly restrict the ability of criminals to cross borders to try and avoid detection.”

A Red Notice can be requested by any INTERPOL member country and is issued by INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters and, in addition to being circulated to each of the 187 National Central Bureaus worldwide, can also be added to national law enforcement databases and border lookout systems. A Red Notice remains in effect until the wanted fugitive is extradited.

In 2008, INTERPOL issued more than 3,000 Red Notices resulting in the arrest of more than 700 individuals across the globe.