Thai police nab Belgium’s most wanted fugitive

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BANGKOK, July 31 – Thai police on Tuesday announced the arrest of Belgium’s most wanted fugitive with outstanding arrest warrants in several criminal cases.

Marc de Schutter,57, was arrested at his home in Thailand’s southern Andaman Sea resort island of Phuket.

He was brought to the news conference in Bangkok in the presence of Thai senior police officers and a Belgian embassy representative.

Mr De Schutter fled to Thailand in 2011. The Belgian Embassy asked for Thai police cooperation which led to the arrest.

The Belgian admitted that he was the person appearing on his country’s police list of most wanted fugitives, with outstanding arrest warrants for several cases. Mr De Schutter claimed, however, that he came to Thailand for business purposes.

Thai police confiscated his computer, a cell phone, and a bankbook as well as some documents that the suspect allegedly used to contact overseas crime syndicates.

Pol Maj-Gen Supisan Pakdinarunart, Crime Suppression Division commander, described Mr De Schutter as Belgium’s most wanted criminal for the alleged murder of his wife and the embezzlement of an oil company for which a Belgian court ordered him to pay a fine of 20 million euro. In addition, he was also accused of involvement in the illicit drugs trade and casinos linked with overseas criminal syndicates.

Gen Supisan said the fugitive would be handed over to the Office of  the Attorney-General for further action pending extradition.