A man matching the description of Norman Volker Franz – who has been on the run since 1999 – has been seen on Curacao
Germany’s most wanted man Norman Volker Franz has reportedly been spotted on the Caribbean island of Curacao, having been on the run for 23 years, according to a Daily Mirror story.
Franz, 51, killed three security guards after making the first of two escapes from prison having initially been handed a life sentence for murder in May 1995.
On both occasions, he sawed through the bars of his cell.
He was convicted of murder after he was part of a group of four men who lured some Polish men into an ambush and threw a hand grenade in their vehicle.
The criminal gang he was involved in also attacked banks, smuggled Polish cigarettes and traded weapons, with the grenade attack connected to a blackmail attempt by their tobacco suppliers.
At the time, Franz was preparing to enter the Westphalia College Dortmund further education college, but he was arrested at a toll booth as he attempted to reach France with his then 23-year-old girlfriend, who has been named only as Sandra C.
Having spent just under two years in the JVA Hagen prison in Germany, he escaped on March 11, 1997 and, five days later, shot security guard Rudolf Tamm, before stealing £4,280 from the Dresdner Bank in the city of Weimar.
He also killed security guards Gerd Koch and Peter Seidel, who were about to stow £214,000 in an armoured car behind a supermarket in the city of Halle four months later.
A state criminal police office investigator said: “The security guards had no chance. He planned to shoot straight away from the start.”
Franz was arrested for the second time by German investigators in the Portuguese city of Albufeira in October 1998, where he had been working as an estate agent under the fake identity, Carsten Mueller.
But he escaped in the same manner from prison in Lisbon in 1999 and has avoided capture ever since.
Franz was added to the Interpol and Europol wanted lists in February 2021 and the reported sighting has been greeted with optimism by North Rhine-Westphalia State Criminal Police Office investigators, who said: “A German tourist saw a man on the island in April who matched Norman Franz’s description.
“He knows that he is not allowed to be near Germans. They might recognise him.”
The head investigator, who has been working on the case for over 14 years, added: “Franz is a polite, intelligent person. He can be very charming towards women.
“Franz wants to achieve his material goals, or get money in short. The use of funds is completely irrelevant to him. He’s very, very dangerous.”
The Federal Criminal Police Office in Germany is offering a £20,920 reward for information leading to his arrest.