INTERPOL fugitive probe nets most wanted suspect

5 December 2018

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Federal Police in Buenos Aires have arrested an internationally wanted drug trafficking suspect following an investigation coordinated by INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support unit.

Red Notice fugitive Sylwia Sulecka was wanted by Polish authorities on drug trafficking charges. She was identified via INTERPOL’s facial recognition biometric service as part of investigations coordinated by INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support unit.

Sylwia Sulecka, a Polish national aged 41, was wanted by Polish authorities under an INTERPOL Red Notice published in 2011. The case had remained open after originally being part of INTERPOL’s Operation INFRA South America in 2011, targeting fugitives on the continent.

She was identified after new images of the suspect submitted by the INTERPOL National Central Bureaus in Buenos Aires and Warsaw were compared against records in INTERPOL’s facial recognition database.

After the image comparison produced a match, the Fugitive Investigation Division of Argentina’s Federal Police detained the suspect for further questioning, resulting in the fugitive confirming her true identity. Evidence uncovered by the international investigation showed the 41-year-old had adopted a new identity in Bolivia before settling in Argentina.

“INTERPOL’s global police cooperation platform helped locate, identify and arrest an international fugitive who had evaded justice for years,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock.

"This clearly demonstrates the fundamental role of INTERPOL as a global ‘tripwire’ in international investigations. We need to keep ensuring that vital information moves faster than fugitives,” added the INTERPOL Chief.

Authorities in Argentina are now holding the suspect subject to her extradition to Poland.

Launched in November 2016, INTERPOL’s facial recognition biometric service contains more than 52,000 images from 179 countries.

Police forces across the globe use INTERPOL’s facial recognition capability daily to make connections between criminals and crime scenes, identify fugitives and missing persons or to compare mugshots.

Circulated to 194 INTERPOL member countries, the Red Notice represents one of INTERPOL’s most powerful tools in tracking international fugitives.

Containing identification details and judicial information on a wanted person, INTERPOL Red Notices communicate to police worldwide that a person is wanted by a member country and request that the suspect be placed under provisional arrest pending extradition.