Hiding in plain sight: make sure Europe’s most wanted criminals do not escape their past (Bild: Europol)
Some of Europe’s most wanted criminals are long-term fugitives who have escaped capture by law enforcement for many years, writes Europol.
Some of them could even be living relatively ordinary lives at present but have a dark, criminal past that they are desperate to hide. The European Network of Fugitive Active Search Teams (ENFAST), supported by Europol, is launching the EU Most Wanted campaign 2021 today to focus on fugitives across Europe who are hiding in plain sight.The criminals in this campaign are all wanted for serious crimes, such as murder, drug trafficking and trafficking of human beings.
We are asking you to visit the EU Most Wanted website to view images of these fugitives and check if you recognise any of them. If you do, you can let us know anonymously via the website.
You could be instrumental in helping law enforcement catch a long-term fugitive.Since the launch of the website in 2016, the annual EU Most Wanted campaigns have experienced continued success. In 2020, 16 fugitives were arrested in total and 5 of these arrests were thanks to the campaign.
Along with the tips that come from the public, criminals also turn themselves in as a result of the heightened public awareness that the campaign creates. In total, 110 fugitives have been arrested since 2016, with 41 of these arrests directly linked to tips that came from the EU Most Wanted website.Europol’s Deputy Executive Director Operations, Jean-Philippe Lecouffe, said: “At the heart of this campaign is justice for the victims.
By checking the EU Most Wanted website and viewing the fugitives, you could help apprehend a long-term criminal and bring them to justice. So far, 110 fugitives have been arrested; Europol and national law enforcement authorities need your help to protect European citizens.”Europe’s Most Wanted was initiated by the ENFAST community in January 2016 with the full support of Europol.
The members of ENFAST are all specialised in locating criminals on the run who are suspected, or have been convicted, of serious crimes and are subjects of European Arrest Warrants. Collaboration across Member States is crucial when dealing with this type of cross-border crime, as some fugitives escape from country to country and repeatedly evade law enforcement authorities..
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