A former chef accused of sexually assaulting a girl in Sussex eight years ago was arrested in Amsterdam on Tuesday (December 6) after a global police hunt.
A girl under the age of 16 was allegedly sexually assaulted while visiting a restaurant with her family in Rye on August 21, 2008 –she was badly shocked but unhurt.
The chef at the restaurant was arrested but failed to return after being bailed and was believed to have travelled to countries all over the world before being put on Europol’s Christmas most wanted list in November.
The 37-year-old man was eventually arrested while working as a chef at a sports café in the Dutch capital and is in custody waiting to be extradited.
Inspector Chris Collins of Sussex Police said; “This was a good example of international law enforcement co-operation leading to the arrest of a suspected sex offender.
“Our thanks go to the UK National Crime Agency, to the Dutch police, and to Europol, for their assistance.”
The chef failed to return on his bail date and magistrates issued a warrant for his arrest after being arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting the child.
He was believed to have gone to Brazil but enquiries there failed to locate him.
There was then more recent intelligence he had gone to Europe, including Portugal and the Netherlands, although there was no information to suggest exactly where he might be.
The Crown Court then issued a European arrest warrant.
Following detailed enquiries by Sussex Police and the National Crime Agency Fugitives Unit, an appeal for his whereabouts was placed on the new Europol ‘Europe’s Christmas Most Wanted’ website, part of the Europol and ENFAST campaign, on November 30.
As a direct result of this appeal, several tips were received from the public in Holland stating that the man was employed as a chef at a sports café in Amsterdam.
Dutch police followed up the tips and he was arrested at the cafe on Tuesday on the authority of the EAW.
He is currently in custody to face extradition proceedings in The Netherlands.
ENFAST is the European Network of Fugitive Active Search Teams, the EU network behind all the fugitives units in Europe.
They are the official partners behind the EU Most Wanted webpage, which was created by and with the support of Europol.
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