how does the list of Europe’s most wanted fugitives, which includes three French people, work?

Europol, the European police agency, has just renewed the list of the most wanted criminals in the EU. We explain the principle of this participatory communication campaign to you.



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The headquarters of Europol, the European criminal police agency, is located in The Hague, in the Netherlands.  (illustrative photo) (VINCENT ISORE / MAXPPP)

On its website, Europol describes him as a “dangerous” man. Cyrille Picard becomes one of the three most wanted French people in Europe by joining the “EU Most Wanted” list, the annual campaign of the European criminal police agency. This 54-year-old man, suspected of having killed his 10-year-old daughter by strangling her, has not been found since May 2022. Here is how this very special trombinoscope works.

A list launched in 2016

The list of the European Union’s most wanted fugitives (“EU Most Wanted”) was launched in early 2016 by the network of European investigators ENFAST (European Network of Fugitive Active Search Teams) which depends on Europol. It lists criminals accused or convicted of “serious” crimes, explains Europol. That is to say for murder, sexual abuse of a minor, armed robbery or terrorism.

On its site, Europol highlights the profiles of wanted criminals considered particularly dangerous.  (SCREEN SHOT / EUROPOL WEBSITE)

This list is regularly updated. When a fugitive has just been arrested, a yellow “arrested” banner appears and flashes. It is then no longer possible to view the profile. Recently added profiles are “headlining”, at the very top of the list. In 2023, 50 fugitive profiles have been added, specifies Europol.

What does the fugitive profile contain?

By clicking on a profile, the Internet user is redirected to a sort of identity card specifying the crimes with which the fugitive is accused and by which country he is wanted. We also find its origins and physical characteristics (size, place of birth, etc.). We can also read the details of the facts with which he is accused, the main stages of the investigation and the possible court decisions.

Some criminals are designated as particularly dangerous: a red “Dangerous” banner appears on their photo.

Who are the three French people wanted? ?

The list currently contains 60 profiles (56 men and 4 women), 28 of which are considered “dangerous” by the authorities and whose profile is crossed out by a red banner. Among the latter, there are three French people: Cyrille Picard (54 years old), Karim Ouali (47 years old), wanted for murder, and Farid Touloun (51 years old), wanted for armed robbery and drug trafficking.

In the detailed files, we learn that Cyrille Picard, on the run since May 12, 2022, “was last seen a few days after the incident, on the west coast of France with his dog Tyson. The fugitive is considered dangerous. He knows how to use weapons and is able to live on very few resources“.

Europol: Cyril Picard, the most wanted French fugitive (France 2)

Karim Ouali has been wanted since April 27, 2011, when he worked as an air traffic controller at Basel-Mulhouse airport. “He murdered one of his colleagues with a Native American axe. He suffered from persecution mania and was in a psychotic state. After committing his murder, he fled. He has tribal tattoos on his chest and a wig as well as a mole on his right cheek“, we read in English.

Finally, the third Frenchman on this list, Farid Touloun, is presented as “one of the leaders of a criminal organization whose particularly determined and violent members carried out a series of armed robberies in the Lyon region” in the 1990s. Convicted several times and incarcerated on the night of June 10, 2005, with the assistance of three accomplices, he is suspected of having, with accomplices, shot at a car where rival criminals were present. in the town of Tassin-la-Demi-Lune (Rhône), killing one of them.Farid Toloun is a particularly dangerous individual. He did not hesitate to shoot police officers on several occasions to encourage his escape, in France and abroad.“, concludes the Europol wanted notice.

A participatory site

The reason for this “EU Most Wanted” list is to allow the general public to look at these faces and to enable them to contact Europol if they recognize any of the fugitives. “What if you were our next hero?”offers the European agency on its website with the hashtag #BeOurNextHero on social networks.

On the left of each profile, you can provide information, anonymously or not, and possibly transmit your contact details to be contacted by ENFAST investigators. A telephone number and an email address are also indicated if you prefer to contact them directly.

For some fugitives, a reward is directly promised and the amount displayed. Thus, anyone who is able to provide the location of Jacek Piotr Jaworek, a German criminal wanted by Poland, will receive 4,300 euros.

For what results?

Since its creation eight years ago, the “EU Most Wanted” list has led to the arrest of 50 fugitives, says Europol. The agency also indicates that in 2022 alone, 21 cases were clarified thanks to this communication campaign to the general public.

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