Friday, March 09, 2007

Polish men face extradition following raids

TWO men who are wanted in Poland were arrested in the News Shopper region yesterday, during a series of raids across London targetting foreign criminals.

Daniel Bankowski was arrested by the Extradition Unit from the Met at an address in Downham Way, Bromley, yesterday at 6am.

The Polish national is wanted in his home country for assault, criminal damage, and for threatening the life of a witness.

The 23-year-old's arrest warrant was issued on January 8 this year.

Bankowski was sharing a small one-room bedsit with his parents when he was arrested and will now face extradition to Poland.

A 32-year-old Polish man was also arrested on an extradition warrant for suspicion of fraud in his native country.

The man was arrested at an address in Lewisham and is one of 22 extradition arrests across the capital yesterday.

Suspects are alleged to have committed crimes in countries including Spain, France, Poland and America, which had all issued international warrants for their arrest in the last six months.

Those arrested include an alleged rapist, a suspected drug trafficker and one suspect wanted for kidnap.

Police said some of the suspects were from Eastern Europe - from Poland, which joined in 2004, and Romania which joined in January this year - and here legally after they joined the EU and were free to travel to other member states without restrictions.

A spokesman said: "The number of extradition requests did rise by 21 per cent last year and we think it is because of an increase in requests from Eastern Europe.

"Most, if not all, of those targeted today are in Britain legally and most are from the EU."

The requests for extradition came via the Serious and Organised Crime Agency and the Home Office.

Detective Superintendent Nigel Mawer, Head of the Economic and Specialist Crime Directorate, including the extradition unit said: "Yesterday was an extremely successful day in making London a safer city.