Europe’s policing agency yesterday rolled out a new campaign to catch the continent’s most-wanted female criminals, saying their crimes were just as serious as those committed by men.
Called the “Crime has no gender” campaign, Europol’s new Web site reveals the faces of fugitives wanted by 21 EU countries in an interactive way, Europol spokeswoman Tine Hollevoet said.
Of those, 18 are women.
“People think that usually these crimes are not being committed by women, but they are and they are equally as serious as those committed by men,” she told reporters.
The suspects face a range of charges including murder, and human and drug trafficking.
The interactive campaign shows the suspects hidden behind spooky neon masks, before their faces are slowly revealed as viewers read the stories behind their crimes.
“After the last time a viewer scrolls, the face of the wanted fugitive is revealed and they will be able to see if it’s a man or a woman,” Hollevoet said. “The idea is to attract as many visitors as possible, with experience showing us that the more eyes that look at the wanted fugitives, the higher the chance to locate and arrest the wanted person.”
For instance, France is looking for Jessica Edosomwan, a Nigerian citizen who escaped after police raided a prostitution ring in the Lyon region in late 2007 and arrested 26 people.
The ring exploited about 60 women who were lured to France with the promise of a better future and were smuggled there through Libya.
Once in France, the women were subjected to voodoo juju rites and their families threatened, French police told reporters.
The case against the suspects is expected to start in Lyon on Nov. 6 and Edosomwan is the only suspect not in custody.
She is believed to be either in the Benelux countries, Italy or Germany, police said.
Another wanted suspect is Hungarian national Ildiko Dudas, 31, who is wanted for drug trafficking and child abuse.
“Very often the suspect’s children were brought along to the drug transactions,” Europol said of Dudas.
The “masquerade of crime” can be viewed at www.eumostwanted.eu/crimehasnogender.
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