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05 March 2014

International collaboration via INTERPOL leads to arrest in Thailand of fugitive rapist

LYON, France – A Slovak national wanted for rape has been arrested in Thailand following close collaboration between INTERPOL and its National Central Bureaus (NCBs) in Bratislava and Bangkok.

Jozef Polonec is the subject of an INTERPOL Red Notice, or international wanted persons alert, issued at the request of Slovakia when he fled the country after he was convicted of sexually abusing his young daughter in 2012.  

As the 48-year-old was suspected to have escaped to Thailand, INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support (FIS) unit, working jointly with its Crimes Against Children unit, shared information on the case with police in Thailand and Slovakia via the NCBs in Bangkok and Bratislava.

Information received by INTERPOL from a member of the public led to the location of Polonec in the Thai resort town of Pattaya. Direct communication and collaboration between the NCBs in Slovakia and Thailand resulted in his arrest this week.

“This case once again demonstrates the effectiveness of international cooperation among police worldwide in tracking down wanted fugitives, no matter where they may try to hide,” said Stefano Carvelli, Head of INTERPOL’s FIS unit.

“We must also acknowledge the important role played by members of the public, who can often assist in identifying and locating criminals who are trying to conceal themselves to avoid justice,” he added.

Polonec will be returned to Slovakia, where he faces a prison sentence of 13 and a half years.