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26 février 2007

INTERPOL fingerprint match assists US law enforcement in arrest of suspected serial killer in Europe

A tip from a New York Police Department detective and an INTERPOL matching of fingerprints has led to the arrest of a man living in Montenegro in relation to the unsolved 1990 beating and dismemberment killing of a widow in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The NYPD detective noted apparent similarities with several European cases while attending a training session at FBI headquarters in Quantico, Virginia. Requesting assistance from federal and international authorities, he sent the suspect’s fingerprints from a 1974 arrest to INTERPOL. After comparison with those in its international database, INTERPOL notified the FBI that it had matched the prints to a man believed to be living in Montenegro.

The suspect, identified by authorities in Montenegro as Smail Tulja, 67, was arrested in his home in the tiny Balkan country's capital, Podgorica, on a federal arrest warrant obtained by the FBI and forwarded to INTERPOL. Tulja is also reportedly a suspect in similar slayings in several other European countries.

In fighting international crime, INTERPOL manages databases, which contain critical information on criminals and criminality, including suspected terrorists, fingerprints, DNA profiles, lost or stolen travel documents, child sexual abuse images, stolen motor vehicles, and nominal data on criminals (names, photos). These databases are accessible by INTERPOL National Central Bureaus in all member countries to assist police with investigations or in preventing crime.

Source: Original story published 23 February by Associated Press Newswires.