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02 September 2009

Nicaraguan police capture dangerous escaped San Salvador gang member subject of INTERPOL alert

A violent gang member suspected of murder who became the subject of an INTERPOL alert after escaping from a San Salvador jail has been arrested by police in Nicaragua.

Saul Antonio Turcio Angel, along with eight other members of the dangerous street gang MS-13, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, broke out of the Centro Judicial de San Salvador Isidro Menendez detention centre on 5 December last year.

Within hours of the break-out, the INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB) in El Salvador informed the INTERPOL Command and Co-ordination Centre (CCC) at the General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France which immediately issued an Orange Notice, a global security alert, to all member countries to ensure they could take appropriate action to help locate and identify the fugitives. INTERPOL Red Notices, or international wanted persons notices, were also issued at the request of El Salvador.

Turcio Angel was arrested by Nicaraguan police in Chichigalpa on Monday. INTERPOL’s Executive Director of Police Services, Jean-Michel Louboutin, praised the collaborative efforts of all the officers involved.

“The arrest of this dangerous criminal was only made possible through the proactive actions of El Salvador in requesting INTERPOL to issue the alert and Red Notice following the prison breakout, and the subsequent vigilance of the Nicaraguan law enforcement authorities,” said Mr Louboutin.

“Making key identification elements available as fast as possible to police officers on the ground through INTERPOL notices was crucial in helping them protect the public. It was vital that police had the information they needed to locate, identify and arrest this dangerous fugitive, especially as he was using an alias at the time of his arrest.

“This again underlines the value of INTERPOL’s tools in locating and arresting fugitives on a regional and global level.”

Law enforcement authorities are continuing their search for the eight fugitives who remain at large are wanted in connection with a series of offences including murder, kidnapping, extortion and drug trafficking and are considered highly dangerous.

A resolution underlining the need for member countries to alert the General Secretariat to prison escapes of suspected terrorists and other dangerous criminals was adopted at the INTERPOL General Assembly in 2006.