Operation INFRA Launched June 1st Around the World



    Operation I.N.F.R.A (International Fugitive Round Up and Arrest)

    SYDNEY, Australia, Aug. 14 /CNW/ - Crime Stoppers International (CSI)
spearheaded this operation on behalf of its affiliated programs world wide,
but in conjunction with its Law Enforcement partners these being Interpol, and
the U.S. Marshal Service as well as its law enforcement agencies across the
globe in which Crime Stoppers operates.
    CSI had set up a Global Communications hub in Europe headed by a former
Scotland Yard Detective as well as a Detective Senior Sergeant from Australian
Police to assist in the global coordination of Operation INFRA.
    Mr. Murphy said "never under estimate the power of the partnership
between the community and the media in assisting Police, it's formidable.
Consider that 500 million people could be looking for you, that is daunting".
    "Crime Stoppers International has created a crime fighting resource which
allows for every person in the world to have the ability to provide
information to law enforcement agencies without being identified."
    Murphy continued "by empowering our citizens to anonymously report the
whereabouts of fugitives we enable anyone to safely assist in removing a
potentially dangerous criminal from our communities."
    An inaugural internationally co ordinated operation with our law
enforcement partners targeting fugitives in co-coordination with seven CSI
member countries has resulted in 45 fugitives being either located or arrested
worldwide.
    Operation INFRA (International Fugitive Round-Up and Arrest ), from 1-30
June, targeted fugitives thought to be located in one of the operation's seven
actively participating member countries - Australia, Belgium, Canada,
Colombia, Jamaica, United Kingdom and the United States. It saw CSI team up
with Interpol, U.S. Marshals Service, the UK's Serious and Organised Crime
Agency (SOCA), to fully exploit the latest available intelligence to locate,
arrest and secure the possible extradition of internationally wanted criminals
against whom there were Interpol Red Notices.
    The fugitives were selected according to the severity of their offences
and the operation involved the more difficult cases on which there was little
information. Out of 477 cases selected for INFRA, 45 fugitives were positively
located, eight of whom were arrested. The remaining 37 cases remain pending
extradition procedures between the countries involved. Colombia and Jamaica
also ran national operations in June targeting locally wanted criminals.
    CSI's Global Communications hub in Europe was the international focal
point for any information received on the fugitives, assembling, analyzing and
forwarding this information to the relevant countries through Interpol's
network of 187 National Central Bureaus (NCBs) for action.
    With Operation INFRA taking place in conjunction with the U.S. Marshals'
Operation FALCON - an initiative targeting fugitives in the United States -
U.S. Marshals Service Director John F Clark said: "The U.S. Marshals Service
is proud to have played a role in the inaugural Operation INFRA. This
operation brought together law enforcement agencies worldwide and proved that
it is becoming increasingly difficult for criminals to find a place to hide."
    The Assistant Director of Interpol's Fugitive Investigative Support unit,
Martin Cox, said that the inaugural operation was a learning opportunity which
aimed to encourage more countries to participate in future Infra-Red
operations. He said that international cooperation was key to success in
locating and bringing international fugitives to justice, including the need
to update Interpol wanted persons Red Notices with new information.
    SOCA's Deputy Director of International Affairs, David Armond, said that
"the success of Operation INFRA demonstrates how joint collaborative working
across the globe raises the risk to criminals who believe that they can evade
capture. A number of extremely dangerous criminals who were at large in the UK
will now face justice as the result of this operation."
    Among those arrested worldwide during Operation INFRA was Bruce Vito
Veniero, an American citizen wanted for drug trafficking who went on the run
in 1997 after signing a guilty plea bargain with the U.S. Federal Government
and posting bail of one million dollars. He was arrested in Buenos Aires on 23
June after Interpol's Regional Bureau in the Argentinian capital provided key
investigative leads from the U.S. Marshals Service. He is now being held in
Argentina awaiting extradition to the United States where he faces life
imprisonment.
    Worldwide, Crime Stoppers has assisted in the arrest of more than 785,000
criminals and assisted in the successful prosecution of more than 1.2 million
cases.
    If you have any information or know someone who might, contact your local
Crime Stoppers or visit www.csiworld.org





For further information:

For further information: North America and Europe, Tel: (905) 951-4806,
email: rpage@kmts.ca; Africa and Asia Pacific, Tel: +61-417-99-66-00, email:
executive@crimestoppers.com.au

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