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08 September 2009

International alert issued by INTERPOL following Panama jailbreak

At the request of Panamanian authorities, INTERPOL has issued an international security alert, or Orange Notice, for eight dangerous criminals who broke out of a jail in Panama.

Twelve men - four of whom have since been recaptured - broke out of La Joyita prison in Panama City after cutting through the bars and doors, during the night of 4 September and then fired upon the guards as they made their escape.

The eight fugitives who remain at large have been convicted of a range of offences including murder and armed robbery and are considered as extremely dangerous.

Following a request by INTERPOL’s National Central Bureau (NCB) in Panama, and after receiving identifying details such as photographs, the Command and Co-ordination Centre (CCC) at the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France has now issued the Orange Notice to all its 187 member countries.

“Requesting INTERPOL issue an Orange Notice for these dangerous prisoners clearly demonstrates that Panamanian authorities are continuing to do all that they can to recapture these men as quickly as possible,” said Saul Hernandez Lainez, head of INTERPOL’s Regional Bureau in San Salvador.

“While four of the escapees are back in custody, sharing vital police information with the wider law enforcement community via INTERPOL greatly increases the chances of the fugitives still at large being identified, particularly if they attempt to cross any borders.”

All NCBs have been requested to circulate the Orange Notice to all relevant national and migration authorities to assist in the location and arrest of the fugitives.

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.