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Posts tagged ‘Interpol’

‘Unprecedented Mystery’ — US and 9 Other Nations Scour Seas for Missing Jet.

The disappearance of a Malaysian airliner about an hour into a flight to Beijing is an “unprecedented mystery”, the civil aviation chief said on Monday, as a massive air and sea search now in its third day failed to find any trace of the plane or 239 people on board.

Dozens of ships and aircraft from 10 countries scoured the seas around Malaysia and south of Vietnam as questions mounted over possible security lapses and whether a bomb or hijacking attempt could have brought down the Boeing 777-200ER which took off from the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

The area of the search would be widened from Tuesday, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, the head of Malaysia’s Civil Aviation Authority, told reporters.

A senior police official told Reuters that people armed with explosives and carrying false identity papers had tried to fly out of Kuala Lumpur in the past, and that current investigations were focused on two passengers who were on the missing plane with stolen passports.

“We have stopped men with false or stolen passports and carrying explosives, who have tried to get past KLIA (airport) security and get on to a plane,” he said. “There have been two or three incidents, but I will not divulge the details.”

Interpol confirmed on Sunday at least two passengers used stolen passports and said it was checking whether others aboard had used false identity documents.

Azharuddin said a hijacking attempt could not be ruled out as investigators explore all theories for the loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

“Unfortunately we have not found anything that appears to be objects from the aircraft, let alone the aircraft,” he told a news conference. “As far as we are concerned, we have to find the aircraft. We have to find a piece of the aircraft if possible.”

Azharuddin also said the two men with stolen passports did not look like Asians, but he did not elaborate. Airport CCTV footage showed they completed all security procedures, he said.

“We are looking at the possibility of a stolen passport syndicate,” he said.

About two-thirds of the 227 passengers and 12 crew now presumed to have died aboard the plane were Chinese. The airline said other nationalities included 38 Malaysians, seven Indonesians, six Australians, five Indians, four French and three Americans.

China urged Malaysia to speed up the search for the plane.

“This incident happened more than two days ago, and we hope that the Malaysians can fully understand the urgency of China, especially of the family members, and can step up the speed of the investigation and increase efforts on search and rescue,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters in Beijing.

A senior source involved in preliminary investigations in Malaysia said the failure to find any debris indicated the plane may have broken up mid-flight, which could disperse wreckage over a very wide area.

“The fact that we are unable to find any debris so far appears to indicate that the aircraft is likely to have disintegrated at around 35,000 feet,” said the source.

Asked about the possibility of an explosion, the source said there was no evidence of foul play and that the aircraft could have broken up due to mechanical causes.

Still, the source said the closest parallels were the bomb explosions on board an Air India jetliner in 1985 when it was over the Atlantic Ocean and a Pan Am aircraft over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988. Both planes were cruising at around 31,000 feet at the time.

The United States extensively reviewed imagery taken by American spy satellites for evidence of a mid-air explosion, but saw none, a U.S. government source said. The source described U.S. satellite coverage of the region as thorough.

Hopes for a breakthrough rose briefly when Vietnam scrambled helicopters to investigate a floating yellow object it was thought could have been a life raft. But the country’s Civil Aviation Authority said on its website that the object turned out to be a “moss-covered cap of a cable reel”.

Flight MH370 disappeared from radar screens in the early hours of Saturday, about an hour into its flight from Kuala Lumpur, after climbing to a cruising altitude of 35,000 ft (10,670 metres).

Underlining the lack of hard information about the plane’s fate, a U.S. Navy P-3 aircraft capable of covering 1,500 sq miles every hour was sweeping the northern part of the Strait of Malacca, on the other side of the Malaysian peninsula from where the last contact with MH370 was made.

No distress signal was sent from the lost plane, which experts said suggested a sudden catastrophic failure or explosion, but Malaysia’s air force chief said radar tracking showed it may have turned back from its scheduled route before it disappeared.

The Boeing 777 has one of the best safety records of any commercial aircraft in service. Its only previous fatal crash came on July 6 last year when Asiana Airlines Flight 214 struck a seawall on landing in San Francisco, killing three people.

The passenger manifest issued by the airline included the names of two Europeans – Austrian Christian Kozel and Italian Luigi Maraldi – who were not on the plane. Their passports had been stolen in Thailand during the past two years.

An Interpol spokeswoman said a check of all documents used to board the plane had revealed more “suspect passports”, which were being investigated.

“Whilst it is too soon to speculate about any connection between these stolen passports and the missing plane, it is clearly of great concern that any passenger was able to board an international flight using a stolen passport listed in Interpol’s databases,” Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble said.

A European diplomat in Kuala Lumpur cautioned that the Malaysian capital was an Asian hub for illegal migrants, many of whom used false documents and complex routes including via Beijing or West Africa to reach a final destination in Europe.

“You shouldn’t automatically think that the fact there were two people on the plane with false passports had anything to do with the disappearance of the plane,” the diplomat said.

“The more you know about the role of Kuala Lumpur in this chain, the more doubtful you are of the chances of a linkage.”

A Thai travel agent who arranged the tickets for the two passengers using the stolen passports said she had booked them on the flight via Beijing because they were the cheapest tickets, the Financial Times reported.

The travel agent in the resort of Pattaya said an Iranian business contact she knew only as “Mr Ali” had asked her to book tickets for the two men on March 1.

She had initially booked them on other airlines but those reservations expired and on March 6, Mr Ali had asked her to book them again. She told the newspaper she did not think Mr Ali, who paid her in cash and booked tickets with her regularly, was linked to terrorism.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Interpol Seeks ‘Vigilance’ After Prison Breakouts.

A disturbing series of al-Qaida-linked prison breakouts that freed hundreds of terrorists prompted Interpol to issue a global security alert, it was reported Saturday.

In a statement issued from its headquarters in Lyon, France, Interpol urged countries around the world to show “increased vigilance”, following prison breakouts over the past month in nine countries, including Iraq, Libya and Pakistan.

“With suspected al-Qaida involvement in several of the breakouts which led to the escape of hundreds of terrorists and other criminals, the Interpol alert requests the organisation’s 190 member countries’ assistance in order to determine whether any of these recent events are co-ordinated or linked,” the international police agency said.

“Interpol is asking its member countries to closely follow and swiftly process any information linked to these events and the escaped prisoners. They are also requested to alert the relevant member country and Interpol general secretariat headquarters if any escaped terrorist is located or intelligence developed which could help prevent another terrorist attack.”

The warning came a day after the U.S. State Department issued a worldwide travel warning to Americans, and closed 21 of its embassies because of intelligence suggesting the terrorist network was planning attacks during August.

Prison breakouts took place in Pakistan on July 31 in a Taliban-led operation, and in Iraq at the Abu Ghraib prison July 22, when about 500 convicts — including senior al-Qaida operatives — escaped. More than 1,100 inmates broke out of a prison on the outskirts of Benghazi on July 27.
In a separate attack at a century-old prison at Dera Ismail Khan, just outside Pakistan’s tribal belt, as many as 150 fighters blew holes in the perimeter wall and stormed the prison compound. The local authorities said some of the attackers were disguised as police officers, and they used megaphones to call out the names of specific prisoners and to chant “God is great” and “Long live the Taliban,” The New York Times reported.

Nearly 250 inmates were freed during the attack.

The Interpol alert issued Saturday cited coming anniversaries of past terror attacks, including this week’s 15th anniversary the American Embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, which killed more than 200 people and wounded 4,000 others, The Times reported.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Cathy Burke

Manhunt For Maina By Charles Ofoji.

By Charles Ofoji

If any Nigerian still had doubt that our country is a cassava republic, it must have been finally expunged by the failure of the security agencies to arrest a common civil servant called Abdulrasheed Maina. Last Wednesday, the Senate drilled the Inspector- General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar over his failure to capture the embattled chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), after Senate President David Mark issued a warrant for his arrest.

Listen to what Abubakar told the Senator Paulinus Igwe-led Senate Committee on Police. He promised to hunt for Maina with INTERPOL, which will help track him down abroad. I dey laugh o! My ribs o! According to him, the police will soon declare Maina wanted, using INTERPOL.

He also told the Senators that he was prepared to place monetary ransom on the head of the fleeing felon. He assured the senators that the force would deploy every means to arrest the run-away civil servant. Abubakar further told the senators that he withdrew the police attaches from Maina immediately the Senate issued the warrant of arrest and since that time, the man absconded and has not been seen. My countrymen and women, this must be some kind of comedy for a depressed populace. Which one was easier? To withdraw the police orderlies and bodyguards and then send other policemen in search of him or to direct the same policemen attached to him to arrest him forthwith? Is it not strange that Abubakar was telling the Senate of what he would do, instead of telling them how far he has gone is going after Maina overseas? The fact remains that the police knew at each point where Maina was. It was their men and women who guarded him, until he vamoosed from the geographical space called Nigeria.

If Maina disappeared by some kind of magic from Nigeria as the IGP told the Senate and found his way to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as reported in the media, then it must be stuff for a Hollywood blockbuster. He must be a movie star and eligible for an Oscar. But this, in my view, was not the case. Mr. Abubakar merely took some punches and embarrassment for some powerful people who covered Maina with “presidential immunity”. With such, he could not have been arrested. How could the police tell us, while the film played out, that they never knew his whereabouts when at each time, about a dozen of their own men and women guarded him? This kind of story is unbefitting of a fine officer I know the IG to be. But then again what options did he have against the superior powers that precluded him from doing his job?

Unfortunately, the Nigerian nation has been reduced to a conundrum by the ruling class. It is a country where the rich and mighty are above the law due to historic corruption. If not how could an ordinary civil servant have grown so mighty to be untouchable. This writer once wrote that the real cankerworms tearing down the Nigerian fabric are the civil servants. Apart from their daily sucking of the Nigerian milk, there can be no looting or embezzlement by our elected officers without their collaboration.

To maintain the status-quo and ensure that nothing changes, those in-charge rule the country by abracadabra. The more the citizens look the less they see. But sometimes, the citizens get an unimpeded view of the state of things. Public outrage normally follows. Then the government is compelled to take some drastic measure to give the people the feeling that their country is after all not a cassava republic. Just as the Judiciary last week, despised by the public, attempted to purge itself by wielding the hammer against three of its controversial high-profile members – three justices mired in corruption allegations. Because of overwhelming public outcry, the National Judicial Council (NJC) recommended their compulsory retirement on account of corruption.

The same thing was what happened in Maina’s case. It was alleged that someone very powerful was playing the music to which he danced. Some pointed fingers at the presidency. The angry speech of the Senate President, Senator David Mark, as he issued Maina’s arrest warrant clearly buttresses this. Nigerians got another rare picture of what was going on. There was another outcry. The music stopped; the dance stopped as well. Maina automatically became an ordinary citizen again. The presidency could no longer afford to shield him from facing a different kind of music. Nevertheless, perhaps, it conceded to him an easy passage as the public was cuckolded with the hocus-pocus of a manhunt.

It would not be un-Nigerian if it later emerges that Maina actually left the shores of this country on a ticket or on a plane paid by the taxpayers. How could a flamboyant man like him, who is wanted by the authorities, pass through the Nigerian immigration, wherever his point of exit was, without being noticed? I disagree. Some kind of cover was provided. But who was protecting Maina? The President himself? The Vice-President or Secretary to the government of Nigeria? And why was he spared? Whoever it was must be an accomplice to the crime Maina is believed to have committed. The sad thing is that, because as typical of Nigeria, he will never be prosecuted. So, we will never get to know.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Accused Cannibal Luka Magnotta Is Back In Canada.

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Montreal Police Department, SVMP

Luka Magnotta, the Canadian porn actor accused of murdering, mutilating and eating his lover, was extradited back to Montreal from Germany today aboard a Canadian Royal Air Force jet.

The Canadian justice department confirmed that Magnotta was transported on a military aircraft and is now in the custody of the Montreal Police Department, or SVMP.

“Our government’s cooperation with the international community has led to this individual being swiftly returned to face justice. It is important that Canadians can have confidence that those who are accused of serious crimes will face the full force of the law,” the ministry said in a statement.

Magnotta was arrested on June 4 in a Berlin Internet café, days after police believe he videotaped the murder of Jun Lin, mutilated his body and mailed his hands and feet to government offices and schools.

Magnotta, charged with first degree murder, was for a time considered a priority fugitive by Interpol. He did not fight extradition and quickly admitted his identity when confronted by police in Germany, telling them, “OK, you got me.”


ABC NewsBy Russell Goldman | ABC News

Mysterious ‘Forest Boy’ Identified by German Police.

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The mysterious young man who emerged in Berlin nearly a year ago claiming he had been living inside the German forest with his father for five years has now been identified, according to German police.

The young man, who has since been known only as Ray, has been identified as 20-year-old Robin van Helsum, from the Dutch town of Hengelo. German police tell ABC News that van Helsum was 19 when he went missing nine months ago, and that his stepmother identified him from the photo released earlier this week.

“We are 100 percent certain that he is this 20-year-old boy, because his stepmother positively identified him,” a police spokeswoman told Die Welt newspaper.  “We have made contact with his family and friends. A photo where you could see him with a chain round his neck showing his name provided the proof. We are very glad that he has been found.”

Van Helsum’s story — that his mother, Doreen, had been killed in a car accident, and that he had lived in the forest with his father, Ryan, until his death last summer — is now believed to be a lie. He was the subject of a lengthy investigation by German police and the international police organization Interpol.

Authorities tell ABC News that Van Helsum, who is now living in social care housing in Berlin, seems not to suffer mental problems. Police have no idea what his motives were with the hoax, and they are questioning him again today.

“Forest boy,” as van Helsum cane to be known in the German press, wandered into the German capital nine months ago, carrying only a tent and a backpack. He told police he had been walking for five days to get to Berlin. He called himself Ray and told authorities that both of his parents were dead.

Authorities went to painstaking lengths to identify van Helsum, having checked his DNA with international missing person lists, made public appeals, and sent his fingerprints around the world, all to no avail. It was only this week that he allowed his photo to be released.

“There were things that did not fit with his story — he was relatively clean and the tent he had with him did not look like it had been used for five years,” Thomas Neuendorf of the Berlin police told German news website The Local.

According to German police, van Helsum’s insisted that he buried his father before starting his five-day trek that landed him in Berlin. Yet he doesn’t know where his father died, police say.

Because he spoke English with an accent, German investigators thought that one or both of his parents could be American or British.

“This is no joke anymore,” Berlin police spokesman Michael Maaß told Die Welt. “He made right fools of us. The costs could come down to him.”

There are no immediate plans for what will next happen to van Helsum.



Paris police investigate porn star sighting claims.

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    This surveillance image provided …

  • This image provided by Interpol shows an undated photo of Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29 years-old, who is accused of videotaping a gruesome murder before posting it to the internet will be charged with threatening Canada's prime minister after mailing a severed foot to his Conservative party headquarters, police said Saturday June 2, 2012. Magnotta is wanted for first-degree murder, defiling a corpse and using the mail system for delivering "obscene, indecent, immoral or scurrilous" material. Montreal Police Cmdr. Ian Lafreniere said they still believe Magnotta, 29, is in France. (AP Photo/Interpol)This image provided by Interpol …

PARIS (AP) — A state prosecutor’s office says police are investigating two claimed sightings in the French capital of a Canadian porn actor wanted in connection with a grisly murder in Montreal.

Luka Rocco Magnotta is wanted by authorities in Canada on first-degree murder and other charges. He is suspected of killing a man he dated, videoing the attack, and then mailing his dismembered body parts.

Interpol has placed Magnotta on the equivalent of its most-wanted list.

An official in the Paris office, speaking on condition of anonymity because of office policy, said Sunday that police were looking into the alleged sightings in northwest Paris but had no additional details.

Police believe the 29-year-old fled to France on May 26. Police have identified the victim as 33-year-old Chinese university student Jun Lin.


Associated PressAssociated Press

Interpol issues ‘red notice’ for fugitive Iraq VP.

BAGHDAD (AP) — Interpol has put Iraq‘s fugitive Sunni vice president on its most-wanted list after issuing Tuesday a so-called “red notice” for Tariq al-Hashemi, who is currently in Turkey.

The Lyon, France-based organization said on its website the move came at the request of the government in Baghdad.

Iraq has charged al-Hashemi — one of the nation’s highest-ranking Sunni politicians — with terrorism, accusing him of guiding and financing death squads that targeted government officials, security forces and Shiite pilgrims.

Al-Hashemi is being tried in absentia in Baghdad. The Shiite-led government links him to about 150 bombings, assassinations and other attacks. It says the death squads were largely composed of the vice president’s bodyguards and other employees.

The trial was postponed last week as al-Hashemi’s lawyers appealed to have parliament create a special court to hear the case. The Sunni vice president has vowed not to return to face what he calls politically motivated charges.

A red notice by Interpol seeks the arrest or provisional arrest of a wanted person with a view to eventual extradition. The subjects of red notices are considered to be on the organization’s most-wanted list.

Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said the red notice for al-Hashemi “will significantly restrict his ability to travel and cross international borders.”

“It is a powerful tool that will help authorities around the world locate and arrest him,” Interpol’s website quoted Noble as saying.

Officials in Ankara could not immediately be reached for comment.

Many member countries consider a red notice to be a valid request for the arrest of a suspect, but Interpol cannot demand individual nations make an arrest. Turkey, which has provided sanctuary to al-Hashemi and is on tense terms with his opponents in the Iraqi government, has not responded so far to the Interpol notice.

Al-Hashemi is staying under the protection of Turkish security agents at a luxury apartment in Istanbul, Turkey‘s NTV television said. A policeman with a machinegun guards the entrance of his apartment building, and several police cars were parked outside on Tuesday, according to NTV.

In an interview last week in Istanbul, al-Hashemi told The Associated Press that his trial was part of a political vendetta that has wider repercussions for Iraqi unity and sectarian tensions across the Middle East.

He also alleged that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, may have engineered the proceedings to snuff out domestic opposition in case he is threatened by a revolt in Iraq similar to that in neighboring Syria.

Al-Hashemi’s representatives maintain he left Iraq for diplomatic meetings with regional leaders, not to escape arrest.

Al-Maliki’s media adviser, Ali al-Moussawi, on Tuesday called on al-Hashemi to return to Iraq and face trial.

“After the issuing of this red notice, I think that the best choice for al-Hashemi now is to return to Iraq and stand a fair trial,” al-Moussawi told The AP over the phone.


Associated Press writer Selcan Hacaoglu contributed to this report from Ankara, Turkey.


Associated PressBy SAMEER N. YACOUB | Associated Press

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