Two Belgians are among 62 persons included on a shortlist of Europe’s most wanted criminals, published online by the European police agency Europol, along with an appeal to the public for help in apprehending them.
The two are Flor Bressers and Tom Michielsen, according to Belga news agency, which said the list also included a Philipino wanted for murder in Belgium.
The 62 – 61 men and one woman – include fraudsters, drug traffickers, thieves and murderers.
The best-known name on the list is probably that of Jan Marselek, former CEO of the German payment services provider Wirecard, who is “strongly suspected of having committed commercial gang fraud, the particularly serious case of embezzlement and other property and economic offences,” according to Europol.
The 41-year-old Austrian probably fled Germany to go into hiding abroad, the agency indicated.
Belgian Flor Bressers was convicted in March 2020 by the Antwerp Court of Appeal to four years in prison for a raft of crimes, including theft with violence, extortion with guns and unlawful deprivation of liberty with death threat.
Tom Michielsen, a dual Belgian-Dutch national, was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for international drug trafficking. Along with his trade partner, he shipped many kilogrammes of drugs to the Netherlands and Belgium. Europol suspects he is hiding in Spain.
Philipino Cristiano Attolba Pinkihan was sentenced to 15 years in prison for murder by the Flemish Brabant Assise Court in 2013.
Many other persons on the list were already sentenced to long jail terms but managed to escape. Europol is offering heavy rewards for information leading to the capture of some of these wanted criminals. For example, the agency is willing to give 25,000 euros for information on Norman Volker Franz, a German sentenced to life in prison for a double murder.
Europol feels many of the wanted criminals are engaged in innocuous activities somewhere in the world and interact with unsuspecting persons in their everyday lives, hence the slogan for this year’s campaign, “hiding in plain sight.”
It is urging the public to take a good look at the photos of the fugitives and descriptions of their crimes. Any tips can be uploaded directly to the Europol website, including anonymously.
Since the agency launched its first most-wanted campaign in 2016, it has managed to catch 110 criminals, nabbing 41 of them thanks to tips sent to it through its website.