Forty-five foreign fugitives including a Sri Lankan – all subjects of active Interpol notices for individuals wanted in connection with criminal activity – were arrested across the United States this week by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and the U.S. Marshals Service.
A 38-year-old Sri Lankan, Pothuvilage Ushan Bernard Karunaratne, was arrested June 21 in Fort Worth, Texas, subject of an Interpol red notice from Sri Lanka for fraud, a statement issued by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.
Arrests occurred nationwide during the three-day enforcement operation June 21 to 23.
“Project Red II” targeted individuals with Interpol red notices and others wanted for serious crimes within Interpol member countries. A red notice serves as an international wanted notice and provides information on the identification of fugitives charged with or convicted of serious crimes who have fled prosecution or the serving of their sentence.
The 45 individuals arrested during Project Red II were wanted for crimes in 22 different countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Sixteen were wanted on various fraud charges, seven were wanted for homicide and four for illegal gang activity. Other alleged crimes included drug trafficking, rape, embezzlement, extortion and kidnapping.
Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed 1,789 foreign fugitives from the United States who were sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder. ERO works with the ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Office of International Operations, foreign consular offices in the United States, Interpol and Europol to identify foreign fugitives illegally present in the United States.
ERO coordinates the removal of criminals, foreign fugitives and others ordered deported. Last year alone, ERO removed 235,413 individuals from the United States.