Outstanding results for the 2022 EU Most Wanted campaign
From September 2022 to January 2023, the European Network of Fugitive Active Search Teams (ENFAST), supported by Europol, ran the 2022 EU Most Wanted campaign with great success. This campaign focused on highlighting the profiles of fugitives across Europe who are members of organised crime groups. The criminals in this year’s campaign were all wanted for serious crimes in Europe such as murder, trafficking in human beings and armed robbery amongst other offences.
As part of the campaign, ENFAST and Europol directed EU citizens to the EU Most Wanted website to view images of the fugitives and check if they recognised any of them. The campaign appeared across social media and there was a call to action in all EU languages to reach as wide an audience as possible. As part of the campaign, murals were unveiled in Brussels and Barcelona to increase awareness of the campaign and to attract more media attention. The campaign imagery focused on a house of cards, as the removal of a key figure in the criminal network by an anonymous tip could cause the whole organisation to fall.
During this year’s campaign, 14 fugitive cases were successfully solved. This made the 2022 campaign the most successful since 2019.
Five fugitive cases were solved as a direct result of the publication of the fugitive profiles on the EU Most Wanted website. This would not have been possible without both the expertise of the ENFAST network and Europol’s far-reaching communications campaign, as both complemented each other in the search for these dangerous fugitives.
Crucial influence of the EU Most Wanted website
The EU Most Wanted campaign has experienced significant success in the past with a number of anonymous tips leading to actual arrests. The website was originally launched in 2016, and since then 392 profiles of fugitives have been listed on the website. Out of this figure, 136 fugitives have been arrested with 49 of those arrests directly influenced by the fact that the fugitive profile had been published on the website.