Belgian Cihan Guzel turned 35 on Saturday. He wanted to celebrate in a big way. So he went to Marbella (Malaga) with several friends to celebrate. The icing on the cake was a night party in a luxurious club in Puerto Banús, the most exclusive area of the Costa del Sol. What Guzel could not imagine was that the biggest surprise of the night was not exactly going to be a gift. At two thirty in the morning, several National Police officers joined the celebration. The alcohol stopped running. The music fell silent. And amid the bewilderment, the police officers took him into custody for a pending 22-year sentence in Luxembourg. The birthday ended in the Marbella police station, with the arrested man – who was carrying false documentation and wearing jeans and a dark sweatshirt– staining his fingers with ink to leave his fingerprints.
Guzel was, until this weekend, the most wanted fugitive in Luxembourg, whose justice had sentenced him to a sentence of 22 years in prison. Standing 182 centimeters tall, he was considered "dangerous" and the police authorities warned that he could be armed. His face and name have been part of the 66 most wanted people in Europe until his arrest. In his profile on the Europe's Most Wanted website, belonging to Europol (European Union police agency), he is accused of attempted murder, organized robbery with violence, belonging to a criminal organization and illicit trafficking in arms, ammunition and explosives . He was charged with a European Detention and Surrender Order (OEDE) filed by the Luxembourg authorities.
His criminal history started at another dawn, in this case on April 3, 2013. At the age of 29, Guzel participated in a spectacular robbery at the headquarters of G4S, a security and money transport company located in the Gasperich district, at south of Luxembourg City, capital of the country. To gain access to the building, the robbers – between five and seven – who participated in the assault detonated explosive charges at the access doors. Later, they fired at the different security measures with automatic weapons. But despite their best efforts, they were unable to enter the bunker where the money was kept.
Minutes later, alerted by the company's security teams, three police patrols arrived at the scene. They were greeted by bursts of automatic weapons when they were less than a hundred meters away from the building. The bullets did not hit police vehicles, but they did hit nearby housing blocks. Subsequently, the agents counted 38 shots. At that time, the perpetrators escaped on the run and fled in two large-displacement vehicles in the direction of Belgium.
When a patrol passed them, the robbers acted "like a military commando," according to the police: they ambushed them in a forest and shot them "a dozen times" with automatic weapons. When reinforcements arrived, the criminals had fled, leaving one of their cars on fire. Despite subsequent police efforts on either side of the Luxembourg-Belgium border, the robbers managed to vanish.
Cihan Guzel was among those on the run ever since. Finally, he was arrested along with two colleagues and in January 2018, “after a long trial”, according to Europol, he was sentenced to 22 years in prison. But before serving his sentence, he disappeared and, since then, has topped the list of most wanted fugitives in Luxembourg. And so it was until last Saturday. That day the Malaga National Police received notice that the criminal was on the Costa del Sol. The first investigations served to find out that that day was his birthday and that he could be celebrating it in Marbella. So it was, that same morning he was arrested. Maybe he never blew out the candles. He will have time in the 22 years in prison requested by the Luxembourg justice.
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