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18 November 2010

Portugal arrests and extradites Colombian fugitive following hit on INTERPOL databases

INTERPOL's databases and worldwide network enabled Portuguese police to identify, arrest and extradite to Bogota a fugitive attempting to enter the country using a stolen passport altered to camouflage the suspect’s criminal history in Colombia.

Investigations were triggered when a Lisbon airport border check against INTERPOL's database of more than 22 million stolen and lost travel documents revealed that the traveler’s Mexican passport had been reported stolen.

After officials discovered that the passport identity information had been tampered with, the suspect’s fingerprints were taken and sent to INTERPOL Bogota via INTERPOL's I-24/7 secure global police communications system.

The man who had been travelling under the name of ‘Yecid Parra’ was immediately identified as 34-year-old Guillermo Perez Trujillo from Colombia.  INTERPOL Bogota then requested the publication of an INTERPOL Red Notice, an INTERPOL tool which can be used by Portuguese police to arrest a foreign individual with a view to extradition.

INTERPOL Bogota further indicated that an individual known as Yecid Parra was in fact actually wanted by Colombia and that Trujillo had unwittingly taken on the identity of a Colombian fugitive.

 “Trujillo’s arrest once again demonstrates how important it is that police worldwide share essential police data over INTERPOL's secure global police communications network,” commented Ana Mafalda Duarte, the head of INTERPOL Lisbon. “We enjoyed outstanding co-operation with our INTERPOL partner in Bogota in making this case a success,” she added.

 “Trujillo’s arrest and extradition demonstrate that there is no hiding from the international law enforcement community, because we have at our fingertips the INTERPOL tools we need to locate, identify, arrest and extradite fugitives no matter how hard they true to hide their true identity,” commented the head of INTERPOL Colombia, Alvaro Pico Malaver, upon the fugitive’s arrival at Bogota international airport.  “INTERPOL Lisbon is to be commended for its quick co-ordinative action with Portuguese judicial authorities in securing today’s extradition,” he concluded. 

Upon his extradition by Portuguese authorities, Guillermo Perez Trujillo was escorted to Bogota on 12 November by officials of the Colombian National Police and handed over to judicial authorities.  He will serve a 15-year prison sentence for aggravated theft, grievous bodily harm and possession of illegal weapons.