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16 April 2008

Belgium requests INTERPOL Red Notices for escaped convicts

LYON, France – INTERPOL has issued Red Notices - or international wanted persons notices - for two convicted criminals who escaped from a Belgian prison on 14 April.

Belgian authorities contacted INTERPOL’s Command and Co-ordination Centre (CCC) at the General Secretariat following the breakout of Sheptim Murati and Kassim Geibi from the jail in Verviers, which then sent a global alert to all 186 member countries.

Geibi, aged 41, had been handed a life sentence for offences including theft with violence with aggravating circumstances (murder) and 35-year-old Murati was serving a three year term for criminal conspiracy.

The Belgian authorities have approved the broader public release of Red Notices for these individuals in order to assist the international effort to locate the fugitives.

'One of INTERPOL’s most important roles is to support law enforcement authorities worldwide to protect the public from dangerous escaped fugitives such as these men,' said INTERPOL’s Executive Director of Police Services, Jean-Michel Louboutin.

'INTERPOL’s Red Notice is a powerful law enforcement tool that can assist police authorities in Belgium and elsewhere locate and apprehend these two escaped convicts who present a threat to public safety. Belgium’s request for INTERPOL to issue Red Notices dramatically increases the likelihood of their arrest, no matter where they attempt to evade justice.'

A record 3,131 Red Notices were issued in 2007, with 562 people arrested worldwide on the basis of such notices that same year.

Red Notices are not only placed in INTERPOL’s central database which can be queried by any of its member countries but they can also be added to foreign law enforcement databases and border lookout systems.

Many INTERPOL member countries view a Red Notice as the basis for the provisional arrest of a wanted person with a view to their extradition. It can be requested by any of INTERPOL’s member countries, and is issued by INTERPOL’S General Secretariat. Issued 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.