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Friday, January 28, 2022

Europe’s most-wanted fugitives revealed

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Suspected cocaine trafficker Joël Soudron is among 62 of Europe’s most-wanted fugitives, according to a list released on Friday.

Police say they have traced the 42-year-old to the 2011 discovery in Le Havre of 230 kg of cocaine from Guadeloupe.

Investigators say he has invested heavily in the legal economy in French-speaking Africa to launder money from the trafficking.

In 2016, he was arrested in Mali and given a six-year prison sentence for another case in which he was convicted in France.

He managed to flee in 2018.

Soudron’s face was circulated among dozens of other individuals considered by police to be Europe’s most-wanted.

The list, released by Europol, has two other French fugitives on it.

The first, Karim Ouali, is a former air traffic controller wanted for the savage assassination of one of his colleagues in 2011 at Basel-Mulhouse Airport. He was recently located in Hong Kong but France has been unable to extradite him.

The second, Farouk Hachi, aka “Mosquito”, was sentenced in absentia to 20 years in prison in 2009 for several bank robberies and could be between Belgium, the Netherlands and northern France.

Also on the list is Antonio Angles Martin. He is wanted for kidnapping, rape and murder in a case dating back to 1992. Europol says that together with his accomplice Miguel Ricart Tarrega he picked up three female hitchhikers in his car, taking them captive before shooting them. When their bodies were found there was evidence of rape and torture.

Last year the annual EU Most Wanted campaign led to the arrest of five of the listed fugitives. Since the campaign began in 2016, 110 fugitives have been arrested, 41 of whom were down to tips coming from the website.

“At the heart of this campaign is justice for the victims,” said Europol’s Deputy Executive Director Operations, Jean-Philippe Lecouffe in a statement.

“By checking the EU Most Wanted website and viewing the fugitives, you could help apprehend a long-term criminal and bring them to justice.”

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