The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) is asking for the public’s help in tracking down the most dangerous criminals wanted by member states, with 92 people linked to various criminal gangs or serious offenses in this year’s campaign.
According to the Hague-based EU body, this year’s campaign, which can be viewed on Europol’s website, is looking for people wanted in Europe for serious crimes such as murder, human trafficking, armed robbery, and terrorism. They include mafia leaders who have massacred innocent people, drug and human traffickers, and criminals who have committed murder or other violent acts in the name of their gangs.
However, some of the suspects are also wanted for white-collar crimes, such as accounting and tax fraud.
Europol stressed that by catching the criminals who play a key role in criminal networks, the ultimate goal is to eradicate gangs completely. To this end, Europol and the European Network of Fugitive Active Search Teams (ENFAST) are asking the public to visit the campaign website and see if they can help the organization catch any of the fugitives.
They also announced that the campaign will be promoted with large wall posters across Europe. The first posters were unveiled in Brussels on Wednesday. Each image is reminiscent of a house of cards, symbolizing how the capture of a key figure identified from an anonymous tip-off in a criminal network could bring down the whole organization.
Europol pointed out that its previous campaigns had been a major success, with many anonymous reports leading to arrests. Of the 335 wanted criminals listed on the organization’s website in 2016, 120 were arrested following reports from the public. Ten criminals have been arrested since the campaign was launched in December 2021, they added.
According to Europol’s website, EU law enforcement agencies are asking for the public’s help in catching seven Hungarian citizens. The Hungarian criminals are wanted for tax fraud, embezzlement and drug trafficking. Two of them are currently on the run from eight to 12-year prison sentences.