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European Arrest Warrant puts wanted sex offender behind bars

News   •   Sep 09, 2019 13:37 BST

A sex offender, who has been wanted since 2012, was arrested in Ibiza just hours after a European Arrest Warrant was secured in the UK.

The extradition process is currently underway to return Arik Amir, 60, to the UK to serve his prison sentence after he was found guilty of five counts of sexual assault on a female under the age of 18 in Leatherhead in July 2012.

He left the country, flying to Tel Aviv in Israel in July 2012 just before he was sentenced to 54 months in prison and given an indefinite Sexual Offence Prevention Order. After an attempt to try and extradite Amir in 2012 was unsuccessful, on Tuesday, 20 August, Surrey Police’s High Harm Perpetrator Unit were alerted to the fact that Amir has travelled from Israel to Malaga. Following further investigation, the team discovered that he would be leaving Spain on Thursday, 22 August, giving them a tight deadline to organise his arrest.

However, the Crown Prosecution Service were able to obtain a European Arrest Warrant at Guildford Crown Court the same morning, with the National Crime Agency then facilitating smooth and timely communications with the Spanish authorities, expediting the arrest warrant and liaising with the Spanish Fugitive Team, who located Amir. He was arrested whilst preparing to board a flight from Ibiza back to Israel, just over four hours after the European Arrest Warrant was granted in the UK.

Detective Sergeant Hilary Squire from Surrey Police’s High Harm Perpetrator Unit, said: “Amir’s arrest abroad is a shining example of collaborative police work.

“The team has had Amir on our records since his conviction and never forgotten about him, hoping for the opportunity to bring him to justice. This is such a great result and it’s hugely pleasing that justice can now be served.

“I would like to commend the hard work of the individuals from Surrey Police, CPS and the NCA who worked together to secure his arrest in a very short timescale.”

This case is one of many which demonstrates the important collaborative work that the police do with partner agencies to ensure justice for the victims of crime. Acting Senior District Crown Prosecutor Libby Clark, from the CPS said: 
 “As soon as Surrey Police got in touch with us, we knew we had to act immediately as we only had the one opportunity.

“We drafted the warrant and by drawing on our contacts from other organisations, we were able to get fast tracked, so that we could seize the chance to bring Amir to justice.”