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01 March 2009 - Media release

INTERPOL issues international alert following mass jail break-out in Côte d'Ivoire

LYON, France – An international Orange Notice security alert has been issued by INTERPOL for 86 prisoners involved in a mass jail break-out in Côte d'Ivoire.

INTERPOL’s Command and Co-ordination Centre (CCC) at its General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon published the global alert at the request of INTERPOL’s National Central Bureau (NCB) in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, following the recent jailbreak which saw 97 prisoners escape from the jail in Abengourou, near the border with Ghana. Eleven were later recaptured.

Prior to the escape, the remaining 86 escaped fugitives were considered to pose a serious danger to the civilian population and law enforcement based on the range of offences for which they were in prison, including murder, rape, and membership of a criminal organization.

Sent via its secure I-24/7 police communications network to all of INTERPOL’s 187 member countries, the Orange Notice includes identifying details of each of the fugitives to help law enforcement officers worldwide in their search and eventual identification when located and arrested. The Orange Notice also strongly recommends that INTERPOL’s member countries alert their relevant border authorities and specialist units responsible for fugitives. 

“Making information and key identification elements available to officers on the ground is crucial in severely limiting a fugitive’s ability to travel across borders, thereby significantly helping efforts to locate and arrest them,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

“By asking for INTERPOL's assistance, the authorities in Côte d'Ivoire ensured that all INTERPOL member countries were made aware that these men are dangerous and that their activities represent a security concern not only for Cote d'Ivoire but for the entire region too.“

“We therefore commend the Ivorian authorities for their decision to alert the global law enforcement community to the escape of these dangerous individuals,” concluded Secretary General Noble.

INTERPOL's fast reaction to Cote d'Ivoire's request was facilitated by the presence of the INTERPOL Major Event Support Team (IMEST) currently in Abidjan to provide support for the first edition of the African Championship of Nations (CHAN).

This marks the 31st time in the last 12 months that INTERPOL has alerted its member countries and the public about the escape of dangerous prisoners.

The Orange Notice can be issued by INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon for any act or event which poses a risk to the safety and security of citizens around the world.