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23 June 2007 - Media release

INTERPOL co-ordination on three continents leads to capture of Rwandan genocide fugitive

PARIS, France - A Rwandan man wanted for genocide and crimes against humanity has been arrested by French police at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris after intense international co-ordination between law enforcement officials from Rwanda, France, the U.S. and INTERPOL.

Isaac Kamali had travelled from France to America in possession of a valid French passport that he had hoped to use to enter the US. However, a check by immigration officials from the US Department of Homeland Security against INTERPOL’s database of internationally wanted persons revealed that Kamali was wanted by Rwanda for genocide.

As a result, the US was immediately able to prevent his entry and place him on a flight back to France. Through rapid co-ordinated action between INTERPOL’s National Central Bureaus in the US, France and Rwanda, INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support and 24-hour Command and Co-ordination Centre at its headquarters in Lyon and the French Ministry of Justice, Kamali was arrested as soon as he set foot on French soil.

'To date the world has focused on the importance of countries consulting INTERPOL’s 15 million-strong database on stolen and lost travel documents prior to allowing travellers to cross a country’s border. The arrest of a fugitive wanted for genocide and crimes against humanity proves that countries must also systematically check INTERPOL’s wanted persons’ database at border entry points,' said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

'This case also clearly shows the strength of INTERPOL’s network of National Central Bureaus working in close co-operation with each other and with INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France.'

'It took less than 36 hours from the time he was first stopped in Philadelphia for the involved NCBs and INTERPOL to exchange photos, fingerprints, underlying arrest information and flight data in order to provide sufficient information for French officials to authorise and co-ordinate Kamali’s arrest upon his arrival on the other side of the Atlantic,' said Secretary General Noble.

'We are not far away from seeing the day when it will be considered reckless to the safety of any country for travellers to be permitted to enter using passports that have not been screened against both INTERPOL’s stolen and lost travel documents and wanted persons databases,' concluded Secretary General Noble.