The European Arrest Warrant

(November 10, 2014)

 Steve in Chamber

Today MPs will vote on the future of the European Arrest Warrant and Walton MP Steve Rotheram believes al MPs should support it.

Steve explained, "Why any Member of Parliament would vote for a measure that would make it harder to bring terrorists, rapists, murderers and paedophiles to justice, I will never understand. I'm totally committed to the European Arrest Warrant as it has an undisputed, proven track record of delivering justice for British victims. 

"David Cameron's government is in crisis. He can't control his backbenchers who are holding him to ransom over the EU and who are threatening to defect to UKIP if they don’t get an in/out referendum sooner than 2017 with the Tory Party committing to leave the union. 

"I don't understand the Tories position on this but I do understand UKIP's position. They want the world to stop turning and everyone to get off. They want to pull up the draw bridge, ground every plane, anchor every boat and keep each British person on this island, never allowing us to leave or anyone else to enter. In their world, crimes against British people, only happen in Britain. 

"Time to wake up and get in the real world. British people live and work on all four corners of the globe. We pass through borders as does information. We need to work with other countries to help bring criminals to justice. If a British criminal is oversees, we should have the power to compel them to return. Working with our European partners, we have this power. Putting it in jeopardy is totally folly.

"Here are just some of the cases that prove how powerful a tool the EAW is for Britain:

1. It strengthens our national security and means we can identify dangerous people coming to the UK

- Hussein Osman identified as suspect for 21/7/05 failed bomb attack at Hammersmith Tube Station. He was extradited on a European Arrest Warrant and sentenced to 40 years imprisonment.

- According to David Anderson QC, the Independent Terrorism Reviewer, “there are a number of [EU] measures relevant to counter-terrorism that are considered by SO15 to be essential tools”.

- 10% of Europol’s work is counter-terrorism related

2. It means we can deport more foreign criminals and bring back wanted fugitives to Britain – no more ‘Costa Del Crime’

- The UK has deported over 4,000 criminals under the EU arrest warrant – 95% of whom are foreign nationals removed from the UK

- Over 600 have been returned to the UK to face British justice for crimes they have committed here

- One of Britain's most wanted fugitives, Andrew Moran, was arrested by police on a European Arrest Warrant and sent back is to be sent back to the UK

3. It is crucial to our future membership of the European Union – with freedom of movement must come strong powers to tackle cross-border crime and prevent criminals using the UK as a haven

- Op Golf – Metropolitan Police and the Romanian National Police. One part of the operation was to tackle a Romanian gang that was trafficking children into the UK for the commission of crime. It resulted in the arrest of 126 suspects for a wide range of offences. These offences included human trafficking, benefit fraud, theft, money laundering and child neglect. 272 trafficking victims identified.

Further Case Studies

September 2012 – Priest Wanted for Sex Offences - Police have obtained a European Arrest Warrant for a former Catholic priest accused of past sex offences, who failed to answer bail. In June 2010, a man now in his 40s, made an allegation of sexual assault at St Benedict's School in Ealing, west London. The wanted man has been named by police as Lawrence Soper, 68. Police believe he may be in Italy and are appealing to the public to notify them of his whereabouts. Mr Soper was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault in September 2010. He was bailed to return to a west London police station in March last year but failed to appear, said police.

July 2012 – Online Theft Crime: Pavel Cyganok was jailed for five years and Ilja Zakrevski for four years for masterminding the online theft crimes. A third man, Aldis Krummins, was jailed for two years for helping launder some of the cash stolen by the pair. UK police were tipped off about the criminals by Estonian police who suspected Zakrevski was using viruses to target Britons. Cyganok and Zakrevski used the SpyEye trojan to steal login details for online bank accounts. Stolen data was uploaded to servers to which the pair had access.

The Metropolitan Police’s Central E-Crime Unit (PCEU) said it had seized one of the servers that was based in the UK, which revealed about 1,000 machines had been infected by SpyEye. The seizure led the PCEU to other machines through which the two men were identified. Cyganok was still logged on to one of the control servers when his home was raided and he was arrested. Zakrevski was arrested in Denmark for a different crime, but because British police had issued a European arrest warrant for him he was extradited to the UK in July 2011.

July 2012 – Blackmail: Three people have been arrested in Amsterdam and London after a Europe-wide probe into blackmail linked to animal rights extremism. A 50-year-old woman was held in Croydon, south London, on suspicion of conspiracy to blackmail. She was arrested by officers from Scotland Yard's Counter Terrorism command, who led the investigation. Two other people were arrested in the Netherlands. A man and a woman, both 25, were arrested at a residential address in Amsterdam under a European Arrest Warrant, the Metropolitan Police said.

June 2012 – Murder: The son of a woman found dead at her home in Kingston has been arrested in northern Spain. Sean Heiss, 28, from Surbiton, was arrested by police in San Sebastian on a European warrant last Friday. His mother, Margot Sheehy was found dead lying on her couch in her flat on Springfield Road in Kingston on June 12. Detectives initially believed Ms Sheehy had died from head injuries but a postmortem examination later revealed the cause of death as asphyxiation. A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "On Friday 22 June a 28-year-old man was arrested on a European Arrest Warrant in San Sebastian, Spain, in connection with the murder of Margaret Sheehy in Kingston on 12 June.

2011 - Armed Robbery: Operation Captura, launched in 2006, is a joint operation run by SOCA, Crimestoppers, Spanish Authorities and Europol, to track down the most wanted Brits on the run in Spain (‘Costa Del Crime’) and return them under EAWs to the UK (see here). James Hurley, convicted killer of a police-man during an armed robbery in Hemel Hempstead, who escaped custody in 1994. He was arrested in 2007 in The Netherlands for drug offences and extradited back to the UK in 2011 to stand trial for murder, see here.

April 2011 – Murderers: A father and son who stabbed a man to death after a row at a party in south London have been jailed for life. Jose Aburto-Rojas, 45, and his son Roberto, 26, were asked to leave the celebrations at a house in Brixton after rowing with Gabriel Morales. Hours later they returned and stabbed Mr Morales, 33, to death as he lay in bed with his girlfriend. Both Jose and Roberto, who fled abroad after the 2008 killing, were jailed at the Old Bailey for at least 20 years. The court heard the two men, Chilean nationals who lived in Walworth, south London, became embroiled in a row during a birthday barbecue hosted by the victim in March 2008. They were asked to leave but returned at about 4am, armed with knives, and forced their way in before attacking Mr Morales. The pair then fled to Italy and Germany.

8 February 2011 – Smuggling Illegal Immigrants: Co-ordinated action by five countries supported by Eurojust and Europol made nineteen arrests of individuals involved in the smuggling of illegal immigrants, mainly from Vietnam to the UK. For a full report see Eurojust website here.

2011 – Murder: Operation Captura, launched in 2006, is a joint operation run by SOCA, Crimestoppers, Spanish Authorities and Europol, to track down the most wanted Brits on the run in Spain (‘Costa Del Crime’) and return them under EAWs to the UK (see here). James Tomkins, was wanted by the Metropolitan Police Service over the murder of electrician Rocky Dawson, 24, in Hornchurch, in May 2006. He was arrested in Spain in 2011 and returned to the UK under a EAW.

2011 - Drug Trafficking: Anthony FRASER, born 24/12/1971 in London, was published under the latest batch of wanted individuals as part of Operation Captura. He was sought under a European arrest warrant for drugs offences in relation to a joint SOCA-Metropolitan Police Middle Market Drugs Partnership investigation. Following his arrest this afternoon, the extradition process will now commence.

October 2010 – Child Trafficking & Exploitation: Operation Gulf, coordinated by Europol, consisted of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) between the UK Metropolitan Police and the Romanian National Police, to tackle a Romanian organized crime network that was trafficking and exploiting children from the Roma community. The operation's primary aim was to safeguard the potential child victims and involved 16 addresses being searched in Ilford, Essex. The children found were taken to a dedicated centre staffed by child protection experts from the police, the local authority and local health trust, where individual assessments were made on each child. The Operation resulted in the rescue of 28 children, 126 arrests, and further transnational organized crime links being identified. For a full report see the Europol website here and here and here.

17 November 2009 –Trafficking Illegal Immigrants: Five men arrested under European Arrest Warrants in England and Scotland by SOCA officers were suspected of participating in a criminal network trafficking thousands of illegal immigrants into Europe, mainly from Iraq and Afghanistan. For full report see SOCA website here.


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