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Novichok assassins and a Briton suspected of murder top Europe’s Most Wanted list

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January 11, 2019

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The two Russian spies being sought over the Novichok poisoning in Salisbury have made it onto the latest Europol’s Most Wanted list.

A British man suspected of a murder outside a London bar is also on the list, which features suspects and criminals on the run from across the continent.

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov are accused of carrying out the deadly nerve agent attack on Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia, in a failed assassination attempt in March.

Their Europol entries state the pair are ‘wanted for numerous offences linked to the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal and his daughter… and for the use and possession of a chemical weapon’. 

British spy agencies concluded the two men had travelled to the UK under aliases and were, in fact, officers for Russian military intelligence unit the GRU. 

Alexander Petrov (left) and Ruslan Boshirov (right) are on Europol's Most Wanted list of fugitives. The men are accused of carrying out the deadly Novichok nerve agent attack on Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia, in a failed assassination attempt in March

Alexander Petrov (left) and Ruslan Boshirov (right) are on Europol’s Most Wanted list of fugitives. The men are accused of carrying out the deadly Novichok nerve agent attack on Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia, in a failed assassination attempt in March

Investigative website Bellingcat said it had established Boshirov’s true identity, reporting he was actually Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga, a highly decorated officer in the GRU. Bellingcat later said Petrov’s real identity was Alexander Mishkin, a military doctor in the GRU.

Both men had been awarded the Hero of the Russian Federation from Vladimir Putin, the investigators said.

The claims followed the president’s assertion that the men were civilians and had been discounted as members of his security network.

Mr Skripal was given refuge in the UK in 2010 after a ‘spy-swap’ which saw 10 Russian sleeper agents expelled from the US.

Accused of acting as a double agent after leaving the GRU in 1999, he was serving a 13-year prison sentence for allegedly working for MI6. Russia has continuously denied attempting to kill him.

Meanwhile, British man Shane O’Brien is suspected of murdering Josh Hanson in Hillingdon in October 2015. 

He fled the country following the murder and significantly changed his appearance since the night of the stabbing outside the RE Bar in Eastcote, Hillingdon. 

Shane O'Brien has dramatically changed his appearance since he was accused of murdering Josh Hanson in London in October 2015

O'Brien, pictured, is believed to have chartered an aircraft to fly to Amsterdam before fleeing

The only Briton on the Europol list: Shane O’Brien, pictured, has changed his appearance dramatically since the night he is suspected of murdering Josh Hanson in RE Bar in Eastcote in October 2015 

O'Brien got this tattoo to hide an earlier inking

Josh Hanson, pictured, died of a single stab wound to the neck

O’Brien, left, who got this tattoo to hide an earlier inking is suspected of murdering 21-year-old Josh Hanson in October 2015. Mr Hanson, right, died of a single stab wound to his neck

Shane O'Brien escaped from Biggin Hill after the murder in October 2015, flying to Amsterdam. He went to Dubai and was arrested in Prague in February 2017. His current location is unknown

Shane O’Brien escaped from Biggin Hill after the murder in October 2015, flying to Amsterdam. He went to Dubai and was arrested in Prague in February 2017. His current location is unknown

O’Brien, who is from Ladbroke Grove, west London, was able to charter an aircraft from Biggin Hill Airport which flew him to Amsterdam. 

It is later believed he went to Dubai before travelling to Prague, where he was calling himself Enzo Mellonceli and Enzo Machado. 

Mr Hanson suffered a serious wound to the neck and was declared dead at the scene. 

The 21-year-old victim’s post-mortem ruled the cause of death was haemorrhage, inhalation of blood and an incised wound to the neck. 

In February 2017, O’Brien was arrested by police in Prague for criminal damage and handed over fake documents claiming he was an Italian called Enzo Mellonceli.

Europe’s most wanted criminals  

There are currently 54 criminals on Europol’s Most Wanted list. The felons on the list are wanted for a host of crimes from murder, racketeering, human trafficking, drug dealing and fraud. 

Some of those on the list have arrived in Europe from different continents. But all are wanted by at least one police force in Europe for the most serious offences.  

Among those on the list is Friedrich Felzmann, 67, who is suspected of shooting two people dead and seriously wounding a third in the Stiwoll, Styria area on October 29, 2017.   

Friedrich Felzmann is suspected of shooting dead two people in Austria

Valentinov Svetlozar Stoilov faces 18 years in prison in his native Bulgaria for a 2008 murder

Friedrich Felzmann (left) is wanted by Austrian authorities on charges of murder and grievous bodily injury while Valentinov Svetlozar Stoilov (right) faces 18 years in prison in his native Bulgaria for a 2008 murder

Austrian police believe Felzmann drove off in his car into a forest where he disappeared on foot.

Officials warned Felzmann is probably armed and dangerous 

Svetlozar Valentiov Stoilov, 29, is on the run from Bulgarian authorities having being found guilty of murdering Stoyan Baltov on December 5, 2008. 

He is facing an 18-year jail term upon his recapture. 

Vasileios Palaiokostas, 52 is suspected of numerous crimes including escaping from custody in February 2009 after commandeering a helicopter

Theodorou Nicolas, 47, is wanted by Belgian authorities on suspicion of two counts of attempted murder

Vasileios Palaiokostas (left), 52, is suspected of numerous crimes including escaping from custody in February 2009 after commandeering a helicopter. Theodorou Nicolas (right), 47, is wanted by Belgian authorities on suspicion of two counts of attempted murder

Greek authorities have offered a €1 million reward for the capture of Vasileios Palaiokostas, 52, who managed to escape from custody after commandeering a helicopter in February 2009.

He managed to vanish following his escape. Officials suspect Palaiokostas was involved in kidnapping, hostage taking, murder and armed robbery, as well as the illegal seizure of aircraft and ships.  

He is also suspected of possession of explosives, blackmail and the unlawful seizure of a helicopter.  

Belgian authorities said Theodoru Nicolas is facing 25 years in prison over the attempted murder of two car salesmen  in Montroeul-sur-Haine on November, 15, 1999. 

Marian Stajgar, 37 is wanted on suspicion of murder

Marian Stajgar, 38, is wanted by Slovak authorities for murder. He has also had hair transplant surgery, officials confirmed

Slovakian Police suspect Marian Stajgar, 38, of involvement in an unspecified murder. 

They said he has several scars from being shot in previous shoot-outs.

Officers also confirmed he has undergone hair transplantation surgery and is very violent and dangerous. 

Vjaceslavs Makarzeckis, 31, is suspected by Latvian authorities of being involved in a major methamphetamine drugs ring

Afghan national Amin Qatra, 29, is wanted on suspicion of murder by Danish authorities

Vjaceslavs Makarzeckis (left), 31, is suspected by Latvian authorities of being involved in a major methamphetamine drugs ring, while Afghan national Amin Qatra (right), 29, is wanted on suspicion of murder by Danish authorities 

Vjaceslavs Makarzeckis, 31, is suspected by Latvian authorities of being a member of an organised crime group who imported large quantities of methamphetamine into the country. 

Local police targeted the gang in 2013 and made several arrests and seized significant quantities of methamphetamine. 

However, Latvian police said Makarzeckis managed to escape the planned bust. 

Afghan national Amin Qatra, 29, is wanted by Danish police  in connection with a murder in Velje on June 1, 2016. 

Officials said Qatra slit is victim’s throat before escaping from the scene. His current location is unknown.

Air traffic controller Karim Ouali is suspected of murdering a colleague with an axe

Air traffic controller Karim Ouali is suspected of murdering a colleague with an axe

Karim Ouali, 42, is wanted by French authorities after he attacked a co-worker in the air traffic control tower of the Bale Mulhouse airport. 

On April 27, 2011 Ouali is suspected of attacking one of his colleagues with a ceremonial axe used by indigenous people in Quebec, Canada. 

After killing his colleague, Ouali fled. 

Officials claimed he was in a psychotic state at the time of the murder. He is said to have tribal tattoos on his chest as well as a beauty mark on his right cheek. 

He may also be wearing a wig.  

Henrich Szucs, 50,  is accused of being involved in a major criminal organisation  in Slovakia

Cypriot authorities want to speak to Gani Burelli in relation to murder

Henrich Szucs (left), 50,  is accused of being involved in a major criminal organisation in Slovakia, while Cypriot authorities want to speak to Gani Burelli (right), 50, in relation to murder

Henrich Szucs, 50, who has several aliases, is suspected by authorities in Slovakia of being part of a major criminal organisation involved in racketeering and extortion. 

Police in Slovakia have issued a European Arrest Warrant to detain Szucs, who is believed to be the criminal mastermind behind the organisation. 

Gani Burelli, 50, from Albania, is suspected of being involved in the murder of three people on June 23, 2016. 

He is accused of entering a restaurant in Ayia Napa with an accomplice wearing balaclavas. 

The gang, who were armed with pistols and automatic weapons, opened fire and killed a businessman, a police officer and his wife. The police officer’s two young children were in the restaurant at the time. 

A second police officer was seriously injured, but he managed to shoot dead the accomplice. 

Burelli is believed to have fled the scene in a car which was later found burned out. 

He is also suspected of being involved in several other murders in Ayia Napa as part of an Albanian crime gang. 

Ivaylo Dimitrov Mitev (above), 45, of Bulgaria, attacked Angel Vasiley in June 2000 in the town of Samokov. His victim suffered a brain haemorrhage. Mitev was sentenced to three years in prison

Ivaylo Dimitrov Mitev (above), 45, of Bulgaria, attacked Angel Vasiley in June 2000 in the town of Samokov. His victim suffered a brain haemorrhage. Mitev was sentenced to three years in prison

Mustafa Korsurgeli, 36, is wanted by Maltese authorities in connection with the murder of his then partner in June 2011

Ringaila Algimantas, 39, is suspected of involvement in a major armed Lithuanian crime gang Agurkiniai between 2005 and 2014

Mustafa Korsurgeli (left), 36, is wanted by Maltese authorities in connection with the murder of his then partner in June 2011. Ringaila Algimantas (right), 39, is suspected of involvement in a major armed Lithuanian crime gang Agurkiniai between 2005 and 2014

Mustafa Korsurgeli, 36, is wanted by Maltese authorities in connection with the murder of his then partner in June 2011.

Turkish national Mustafa Korsugeli, 35, was living in a rented apartment with his girlfriend in St Paul’s Bay.

Authorities determined the unnamed victim had been discovered on June 4, 2011 – two days after she died and Kosurgeli fled Malta on an international flight to Istanbul.  

Ringaila Algimantas, 39, is wanted by Lithuanian authorities for drugs smuggling and being a member a major international crime gang.  

Authorities believe Algimantas is a member of the feared Agurkinia crime gang who have been known to operate across Europe in areas with large Lithuanian populations. 

Algimantas is known to speak both Lithuanian and Russian. 

Intelligence suggests he was a member of the gang at least during the period 2005-2014.   

Petr Zdrazil, is accused of committing a fraud affecting the interests of the European Union and is facing six years in prison upon his recapture

Petr Zdrazil, is accused of committing a fraud affecting the interests of the European Union and is facing six years in prison upon his recapture

Petr Zdrazil, 50, is wanted by Czech authorities for a €290,000 fraud where he ripped off truck hauliers who supplied him with a service without payment. 

To get away with his criminal enterprise, Zdrazil used a false identity. 

He has been sentenced by Czech authorities to a six-year jail term.    

Mohamed Ezzi is wanted by authorities in Luxembourg for beating up his wife leaving her partially blinded

Mohamed Ezzi is wanted by authorities in Luxembourg for beating up his wife leaving her partially blinded

Mohamed Ezzi, 30, is wanted by authorities in Luxembourg concerning allegations he viciously assaulted his wife leaving her with partial blindness and unable to work. 

The Tunisian-born suspect has  been accused of violently assaulting his wife on many occasions and has been sentenced to 10 years in jail.

The attacks happened over a five-year period between 2009 and 2014. 

He has been on the run since June 2016. 

In June 2006, Omar Mukhles (pictured), now 38, from Syria, planned and helped his brother to illegally leave Romania

Mike Soldier (pictured), 38, of Finland, faces almost four years in jail for an aggravated drug offence and driving while intoxicated, among other crimes

In June 2006, Omar Mukhles (left), now 38, from Syria, planned and helped his brother to illegally leave Romania. Mike Soldier (right), 38, of Finland, faces almost four years in jail for an aggravated drug offence and driving while intoxicated, among other crimes

In June 2006, Omar Mukhles, now 38, from Syria, planned and helped his brother to illegally  leave Romania.

Mukhles knew that his brother Omar Hayssam was sent to trial for terrorism by organising and financing the kidnapping of three Romanian journalists in Iraq.

Mukhles face five years in prison.

Mike Soldier, 38, of Finland, faces almost four years in jail for an aggravated drug offence, causing a serious traffic hazard, driving while intoxicated and a firearms offence, among others. 

Hungarian national Zoltan Plank, 50, is suspected of murder and armed robbery

Zoltan Plank, 51, is suspected of attempted murder and robbery 

Zoltan Plank and several business acquaintances are accused of hiring two hit men on August 25, 2014 to murder a fellow associate. 

The gang members stabbed the man repeatedly and left him for dead, although he survived.

Plank, 51, is later accused of holding up some Chinese tourists while pretending to be a police officer. The gang stole an estimated €1.28 million. 

The gang opened fire using a machine gun to stop several people who attempted to follow them by car. 

Hungarian authorities believe Plank may have grown his hair long.

Mohamad Ahmed Hassan (pictured), 35, from Somalia, is wanted for stabbing a victim to death with a knife on August 28, 2009 in Brønshøj, Denmark

In 2010, Ernest Gammer (pictured) attacked a man in a nightclub in Tallinn and stabbed him several times, severely injuring him

Mohamad Ahmed Hassan (left), 35, from Somalia, is wanted for stabbing a victim to death with a knife on August 28, 2009 in Brønshøj, Denmark. In 2010, Ernest Gammer (right) attacked a man in a nightclub in Tallinn and stabbed him several times, severely injuring him. Gammer was convicted by the court in 2013 to four years’ imprisonment

Giovnanni Motsi, 78, is wanted by Italian authorities suspected of being in the Mafia,

Giovnanni Motsi, 60, is wanted by Italian authorities, and is suspected of being in the Mafia 

Giovanni Motsi is accused of being a member of the Mafia by Italian authorities and is suspected of involvement in several brutal murders. 

He is also accused of being engaged in a criminal conspiracy. 

The 60-year-old Italian faces life imprisonment if captured by police.  

Since the charges were fairly minor, police released O’Brien on bail pending further investigation. 

The Metropolitan Police are offering £50,000 reward for information which leads to O’Brien’s capture. 

Since fleeing London, O’Brien began sporting long hair and a beard and has a very distinctive tattoo on his back of an owl holding a skull. 

Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh of the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command said: ‘£50,000 is a huge amount of money which demonstrates the Met’s determination and commitment in finding O’Brien and bringing him before the courts. 

‘It is clear he is being helped by others to evade police and has the ability to move around without using his own identity. That is why we decided to offer such a large reward – £50,000 is a substantial amount of money and I hope it will encourage someone who moves in O’Brien’s circles to come forward.  

‘When arrested in Prague, O’Brien had boxing gloves with him. He uses gyms and will continue to do so I’m sure. His new tattoo is so distinctive it should stick in the mind of fellow boxers, or possibly a new partner. I would like to hear from the tattoo artist who covered up his original “Shannon 15-04-06” tattoo, it would have taken several sittings.’ 

Police success with two Brits on Europol list: Convicted murderer is caught – and suspected paedophile is arrested 

Convicted murderer Shaun Walmsley – who was on Europol’s Most Wanted List in 2017 – was caught by armed police in Leeds in August.

Police had offered a £20,000 reward for the recapture of Walmsley, 29, who escaped from hospital following surgery.

Walmsley was convicted of the murder of Anthony Duffy and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. 

Welsh suspected paedophile David Daniel Hayes (above), who fled the country while on bail, was arrested in Spain in July

Welsh suspected paedophile David Daniel Hayes (above), who fled the country while on bail, was arrested in Spain in July

Another Briton who was on Euope’s most wanted list – suspected paedophile David Daniel Hayes – was arrested in July.

Hayes, 39, from Llanrwst in Wales, was wanted for nine sexual offences committed in the UK. He was arrested in southern Spain, where he is suspected of carrying out at least one further attack using a stolen ID.

The former Bangor City FC press officer was detained in Granada in the autonomous region of Andalusia using the name of another British man in the area to offer English lessons.

British authorities had lost track of him when he boarded a plane from Liverpool to Amsterdam in May 2015.

He is accused of raping a child and other sex offences against children on Anglesey, but while on bail, he reportedly failed to appear in court and promptly skipped the country. 

Gangland killer who escaped jail with help of machine gun-toting rescuers must serve extra eight years behind bars

Police on Merseyside have recaptured killer Shaun Walmsley, who escaped from custody during a hospital visit

Police on Merseyside have recaptured killer Shaun Walmsley, who escaped from custody during a hospital visit

Gangland killer Shaun Walmsley, who faked illness to be sprung from jail while on a hospital visit was told, in October, that he must serve another eight years behind bars.

Walmsley, 29, was already serving a life sentence with a minimum term of 30 years behind bars when two men, armed with an Uzi submachine gun and a knife, threatened to shoot and ‘cut’ his three prison guards, before snatching him outside Aintree Hospital in the city in February 2017.  

Walmsley spent 18 months on the run from HMP Liverpool before he was captured in a pre-planned operation by armed police in Leeds in August 2018.

After he was repeatedly tasered and dragged out of a car he told the officers ‘Good job boys!’, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

He was given a minimum 30 years in June 2015 for the brutal stabbing of rival drug dealer Anthony Duffy, 33.

After receiving news his appeal had been refused Walmsley hatched the prison escape by deliberately losing weight and feigning illness.

Walmsley had a consultation at the hospital on February 8, 2017, where he was told he would undergo a minor endoscopy procedure on February 21 – and was able to plot his bid for freedom.

The defendant pleaded guilty to a single count of escape from custody.

Walmsley spent 18 months on the run from HMP Liverpool before he was captured in a pre-planned operation by armed police in Leeds in August

Walmsley spent 18 months on the run from HMP Liverpool before he was captured in a pre-planned operation by armed police in Leeds in August

Walmsley, pictured right with a grey top leaning against the silver car, lost four stone while in jail to convince medics he was suffering an illness - when he arranged his escape from custody

Walmsley, pictured right with a grey top leaning against the silver car, lost four stone while in jail to convince medics he was suffering an illness – when he arranged his escape from custody

Members of Walmsley's gang threatened two prison officers before escaping from the area

Members of Walmsley’s gang threatened two prison officers before escaping from the area

Judge Clement Goldstone, Recorder of Liverpool, told the defendant if he thought another sentence would make no difference as he was already serving life, ‘you could not be more wrong’.

He was told although he is only eligible for parole in June 2047 after that sentence finishes, he must serve another eight years – half of it in jail – before release.

The judge added: ‘After undergoing your procedure you were, to use the vernacular, sprung by two men who had parked a car nearby.

‘Each was armed one with a machine gun the other a knife and gas canister.

‘I have no doubt over the months you began to think by a combination of disguise, re-location and friends in low places you had become above the law and would remain at large indefinitely.

‘But Merseyside Police had other ideas. Eventually the joint and perfectly co-ordinated operation with West Yorkshire Police led to your arrest.’

Earlier Henry Riding, prosecuting, told the court Walmsley was one of four men sentenced to life for the murder of Anthony Duffy, who was stabbed 28 times in Aintree in May, 2014.

The gang used this gold Volvo with false number plates during their bid to free Walmsley

The gang used this gold Volvo with false number plates during their bid to free Walmsley

He began losing weight and complained of bowel problems and bleeding before being taken to the hospital with the follow-up appointment planned.

Mr Riding said: ‘Subsequent to that, information from the hospital indicates tests show he had no condition of any kind. There’s every reason to suppose his, “condition” was effectively a sham.’

Mr Riding said his escort was three prison officers, taking him to hospital in a private hire taxi.

The prisoner was at all times handcuffed to a prison officer, ‘even when he underwent the procedure at the hospital.’

But outside as they went to get in a taxi back to the jail two men approached threatening to shoot and stab them if they did not unlock his handcuffs.

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