Interpol calls on Web surfers to help catch fugitives
International police agency Interpol Monday urged Internet users to help track down hundreds of fugitives wanted for murder, rape, child sexual abuse and other serious crimes.
The round-up operation was launched on May 3 targeting 450 people either convicted or suspected of serious offences and wanted by, or believed to be located in, 29 countries.
More than 100 fugitives have already been arrested or located worldwide, the agency based in the French city of Lyon said in a statement.
The arrests included some high-profile suspects such as former Colombian model Angie Sanclemente Valencia, caught in May in Argentina where she is wanted for drug-trafficking, and Mouamba Munanga from the Democratic Republic of Congo, wanted by France and Bahrain for counterfeit currency and money-laundering, who was picked up in South Africa on June 16.
"The operation has been very successful in locating and arresting a large number of these targets, but what we are now left with are the cases where we have no new information on their whereabouts, which is why we are asking for the public to help," said Martin Cox, assistant director of Interpol's Fugitive Investigative Support (FIS) unit.
Interpol has released to the public pictures of 26 fugitives to back its appeal for help from Internet users, especially on social networking sites and chatrooms.
"It is more likely that someone will recognize one these fugitives from a social networking site or a chatroom than spotting them walking down the street," Cox said.
But he added: "No matter how a member of the public has the information, we would ask that they pass it on."
Information on the whereabouts of the fugitives or any internationally wanted person can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, or be given anonymously to national Crime Stoppers programmes or via www.csiworld.org.
© 2010 AFP