A French couple who have been on the run for 23 years after they were placed on Europol’s most Wanted list have been arrested in Abidjan.
The French couple, Jean-Claude Lacote,53 and his wife Hilde Van Acker, 56, before they were arrested in Abidjan, have been wanted since 1996 for the murder of a British businessman, Marcus Mitchell who was shot twice in the head in Belgium were each sentenced to life in their absence.
The pair fled Belgium in the aftermath of the murder only to resurface two decades later in Ivory Coast.
“The two were arrested in Abidjan. Lacote on Wednesday night and Mrs Van Acker on Thursday morning,” Brussels prosecutors spokesman Celine D’Have told AFP.
The couple after fleeing Europe, initially settled in Brazil then ended up in South Africa where he launched his reality TV career, hosting ten episodes of a reality crime programme Duty Calls, according to a 2016 report in Britain’s Independent daily.
The programme highlighted how the police “dealt with violent criminals and dangerous crime scenes”. After finding himself in prison awaiting trial on a string of frauds, he also escaped when his then girlfriend Van Acker posed along with others as police officers with fake paperwork, the report added.
Belgian prosecutors will ask for the couple to be extradited from the Ivory Coast.