Interpol has issued an international Red Notice for the arrest of fugitive eco-warrior Paul Watson, the founder of marine conservation group Sea Shepherd, after he skipped bail in Germany.
Watson was arrested in May in Frankfurt on a warrant from Costa Rica, where he is wanted on charges stemming from a high-seas confrontation over shark finning in 2002.
Lyon-based Interpol does not have the power to issue international arrest warrants but can request member countries to make arrests based on foreign warrants.
Watson was detained in Germany for a week in May before being released on bail after paying 250,000 euros ($310,000) and being ordered to appear before police twice a day. But he skipped bail on July 22 and fled the country.
Watson, a 61-year-old Canadian known to his supporters as “The Captain”, is a veteran campaigner whose Sea Shepherd organisation is known for its muscular attacks on Japanese whalers.
Without revealing Watson’s location, the organization denounced Interpol’s notice as part of a politically motivated attack led by Costa Rica on Japan’s behalf.
In a statement last week, Watson accused Japan of conspiring with Germany and Costa Rica to hunt him down in revenge for his attacks on its whaling operations.
Watson said Costa Rica and Germany had been “pawns in the Japanese quest to silence Sea Shepherd”, which has for years clashed with harpoon ships in the Southern Ocean.
He also did not reveal his location in the message.
I LOVE Whale Wars! Someone has to stop the illegal whale slaughter!