Polish police have detained Hungarian national Zoltán P., one of the country’s and Europe’s most wanted criminals, Hungary’s National Investigative Office (NNI) confirmed in a statement on Thursday.
Zoltán P. was among Hungary’s top 50 most wanted criminals, and since 2021 also featured on the EU’s Most Wanted and Interpol’s list.
On Sep. 29, 2014, Zoltán P. and his accomplices abducted Chinese citizens in Budapest at gunpoint. During the attack, several shooters opened fire on the victims’ car with automatic weapons and plundered large sums of money. After Zoltán P. was identified by the authorities, he disappeared and has been on the run ever since, according to the Hungarian authorities.
The NNI started searching for Zoltán P., who was registered as an armed, dangerous felon, in 2019. After the suspicion that he had gone abroad was raised, Hungarian law enforcement contacted their European colleagues. For the past three years, Hungarian detectives have worked with their German, Dutch, Romanian, Austrian, and Polish colleagues to track down the fugitive.
Zoltán P. managed to remain undetected for years, but a few days ago it was discovered that he was hiding in Poland with false Romanian documents. The fugitive was eventually arrested by local police in an apartment on Wednesday night in Kepno.
The man was also among the most sought after on Europol’s website. He and his companions commissioned two men to kill their former business partner to settle a dispute. The two hired men inflicted several life-threatening injuries on the victim in August 2014, but they were found in time and survived the attack thanks to prompt medical help.
A month later, Zoltán P. and his colleagues posed as police officers in order to kidnap and rob a Chinese businessman of 400 million forints before fleeing by car after firing several shots at their pursuers with sub-machine guns.
The fugitive’s extradition back to Hungary will be decided by a Polish court.