Hunt for escaped French prisoner: Interpol issues ‘red notice’ alert

Do you receive The Connexion’s free weekday newsletter?

Sign up here

The hunt for the prisoner who escaped an ambush in which two police were killed yesterday is continuing in France, with the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) issuing a ‘Red Notice’ for his capture.

Two officers were killed and at least three others seriously injured when the prisoner – who has been named as Mohamed Amra – escaped during an ambush on the prison transporter van at a toll booth on the A154 motorway at around 11:00 yesterday (May 14).

Read also: Two killed as prison van ambushed on French motorway, inmate on run 

Attackers allegedly used two vehicles in the ambush, pulling up on both sides of the van at the Incarville tollbooth (péage), on the motorway near the city of Rouen (Eure). Several people got out of the vehicles and opened fire with automatic weapons, helping the inmate inside escape into one of the vehicles. This vehicle was later found in flames a few kilometres away.

The seriously injured officers were transported to hospital in Évreux where they are currently receiving care, with one in critical condition. 

President Macron said “everything would be done to bring justice” to the perpetrators.

France’s Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti announced in a press conference that the wife of one of the officers killed is five months pregnant. The other had two children.

President Emmanuel Macron posted on X (formerly Twitter) about the attack, saying “everything would be done to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice.”

A minute’s silence for the killed officers was held in the National Assembly at 15:00. Another minute’s silence was held today (May 15) at 11:00.

What is a ‘Red Notice’? 

Interpol, headquartered in the French city of Lyon, sent out a ‘Red Notice’ relating to the suspect, Mohamed Amra.

 It alerts all members of the Interpol network that a person is wanted, and acts as a formal request for the person to be arrested and extradited back to the county who issued the notice. 

The notice provides additional information for international police networks to help find the individual, including their name, date of birth, nationality, hair and eye colour, photographs and fingerprints if available. It also provides further information on their criminal activity. 

Interpol members are not required to look for the person, as the notice only acts as a request, and must still use their own laws when determining if a person should be arrested. 

More information can be found on the Interpol website.

Search continues

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has said that “unprecedented…  judicial police resources” are being mobilised in the search. This includes members of the highly specialised national police unit GIGN (Groupe d’intervention de la Gendarmerie nationale).

“What we must denounce is the barbarism with which these police were killed – these family men, these guards – in cold blood,” said Mr Darmanin.

Jacques Morel, gendarmerie general and former head of the police search unit in Versailles, told FranceInfo that he believed that the prisoner will “try to cross borders” as he escapes, to evade justice.

However, the plan Épervier (sparrowhawk), which had been engaged yesterday, has been lifted. It gives authorities the right to impose strategic checkpoints. Yet, it can only be in force for four hours after an incident.

Many prisons across the country are in lockdown today for security reasons, and also as a sign of ‘solidarity’ to those killed and injured. Prison guard and penitentiary unions called for a day of “dead [closed] prisons”. Those in lockdown include penitentiaries in Amiens, Caen, Pau, Montluçon, Béziers, Marseille, and Corsica.

Mr Dupond-Moretti is set to meet prison union heads at 14:00. This includes FO Justice, the Ufap-Unsa Justice, the CGT Pénitentiaire, and the Syndicat pénitentiaire des surveillants (SPS).

Erwan Saoudi, inter-regional secretary of FO Justice, told France 2: “This was a barbaric attack, because there was no [respect shown for] humanity.”

Police are demonstrating across the country to show additional solidarity for the victims,

Who is the escaped prisoner?

He has been named as Mohamed Amra, a 30-year-old man who is said to be the head of a drug smuggling ring in France. Nicknamed ‘The Fly’, he was recently sentenced to 18 months in prison at a hearing in Évreux for aggravated theft.

He has also previously been implicated in other cases across France, including for kidnapping and attempted murder.

He required a ‘level 3 escort’, which is why yesterday’s trip between Évreux prison and an examining magistrate in Rouen required the accompaniment of five prison officers.


Sign up to receive the latest local, national & international Criminal Justice News in your inbox, everyday.

We don’t spam! Read our [link]privacy policy[/link] for more info.

Sign up today to receive the latest local, national & international Criminal Justice News in your inbox, everyday.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

This post was originally published on this site be sure to check out more of their content.