Belgian woman placed on European 'Most Wanted' criminals list

Belgian woman placed on European 'Most Wanted' criminals list
Hilde Van Acker was convicted in 2011 for the murder of a British businessman. Credit: Europol

A Belgian woman, Hilde Van Acker from the city of Sint-Niklaas in the East-Flanders province, has been placed on Europol's 'Most Wanted' list for the murder of a British businessman.

Europol, the law enforcement agency of the European Union, launched the 'Crime has no gender' campaign on Friday. On the website, 21 criminals are shown hidden behind a mask, 18 of which are women. With just a few clicks, visitors of the website can read about their crimes and see their faces.

With the campaign, Europol wants to show that crimes committed by women are often just as severe as those committed by men.

The criminals on the list are wanted for crimes including murder, human trafficking and drug offences. "The intention is to emphasize that diversity and gender balance can also be found in crime," said Tine Hollevoet from Europol, reports VRT NWS.

"The goal is to attract as many visitors to the website as possible. Experience has taught us that the more people see fugitives, the better the chances are to find and arrest them," she added.

The Belgian woman on the list, Hilde Van Acker, disappeared in 1996 after she and her boyfriend murdered a British businessman in the Belgian coastal municipality of De Haan. The man was killed by two bullets in the neck, reports Het Nieuwsblad.

In 2011, the two were sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment and have been on the Belgian 'Most Wanted' list of the federal police Fugitive Active Search Team since then.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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