INTERPOL calls on public to help track international fugitives in global operation

11 June 2012

LYON, France – An INTERPOL operation targeting fugitives wanted for offences including murder, robbery, kidnapping and drug trafficking is calling for the public’s help in locating and bringing them to justice.

Operation Infra-Red (International Fugitive Round Up and Arrest – Red Notices) 2012 was launched by the world police body on 14 May, focusing on more than 500 fugitives wanted by 57 member countries and has already led to the arrest or location of internationally-wanted people worldwide.

It was within the framework of Operation Infra-Red that suspected killer, Luka Rocco Magnotta, was arrested in Germany just four days after INTERPOL issued a Red Notice for the 29-year-old at the request of Canadian authorities.

A number of Infra-Red 2012 targets wanted for a range of offences are now being specifically highlighted as part of the public appeal for assistance.

Stefano Carvelli, Head of INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support unit, which is coordinating Infra-Red, said the Magnotta case highlights the vital contribution that the public can make in helping police find criminals on the run.

“Often Infra-Red cases are those where all police leads have been exhausted and fresh information is needed to give the investigations new drive, which is why we are appealing to the public to assist us,” said Mr Carvelli.

“I would urge everyone to look closely at the photos of these individuals, think about people they have met either in the real world or via social networking sites, could they be one of these fugitives?

“Any information at all could prove crucial in identifying and bringing these people to justice, some of whom have been hiding for years,” added Mr Carvelli.

Since the initial Infra-Red in 2010 similar operations, Infra-SA (South America) and Infra-SEA (South East Asia) have been coordinated by INTERPOL, resulting in arrests around the globe, including most recently that of Stanislav Molodyakov, wanted by Russian authorities in connection with child sex crime offences who was taken into custody by Cambodian police on Monday 4 June.

The initial phase of operation Infra-Red 2012 saw investigators from 28 of the participating countries and Europol gather at the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France to directly share information on suspects.

Details of the wanted persons, their suspected locations and any other potentially identifying information was collated and analysed, before being sent to involved countries through INTERPOL’s global network of 190 National Central Bureaus for action.

Information on the whereabouts of the targets of Operation Infra-Red 2012 or any internationally-wanted persons can be sent to INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support unit. Information can also be given anonymously to any national Crime Stoppers programme.