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26 August 2010 - Media release

Polish police arrest US paedophile suspect targeted in INTERPOL operation Infra-Red

LYON, France – A suspected US paedophile wanted as part of an INTERPOL-led worldwide operation targeting fugitives convicted or accused of serious crimes has been arrested in Poland.

John Hamilton, who is accused of sexually abusing five boys aged between 10 and 16 in the United States, was taken into custody by border guard officers in Gliwice in southern Poland after checks against INTERPOL’s databases revealed that he was wanted as part of Operation Infra-Red (International Fugitive Round-Up and Arrest – Red Notices).

Hamilton, who had been scheduled to plead guilty to a series of offences in the US but had fled to Germany in late 2009, was arrested on Wednesday when the bus he was travelling on from Krakow to Denmark was inspected and his identity and wanted status were revealed.

“This is a great result made possible through the vigilance and professionalism of the Polish police on the ground and because the US authorities had ensured that the global law enforcement community was alerted to this suspected paedophile through INTERPOL,” said Dimitris Souxes, criminal intelligence officer with INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support (FIS) unit, which co-ordinated Infra-Red.

“This arrest also serves as a warning to other fugitives targeted as part of Infra-Red that the operation continues and it is only a matter of time before they too are arrested and brought to justice.”

The 39-year-old US citizen was one of 26 individuals highlighted during operation Infra-Red, targeting a total of 450 fugitives worldwide, and which has already resulted in the location and arrest of more than 140 wanted persons.

The operation, which was launched on 3 May, saw investigators from the participating countries and agencies, including Crimes Stoppers International, working together at the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France, to enable investigators to directly share case details on their suspects. Information received during the operation was analysed by investigators and forwarded by INTERPOL’s FIS unit to relevant countries through INTERPOL’s network of 188 National Central Bureaus (NCBs) for action.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the targets of Operation Infra-Red or any internationally-wanted persons should contact our Fugitive Unit. Information can also be given anonymously to national Crime Stoppers programmes or via http://www.csiworld.org/.

The 29 participating countries in Infra-Red 2010: Albania, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Montenegro, Netherlands, Oman, Poland, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, Ukraine and USA.