German fugitive Norman Volker Franz spotted on Caribbean island

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German fugitive Norman Volker Franz spotted on Caribbean island

A German fugitive suspected of killing five people who escaped prison has twice been spotted on a Caribbean island, according to a report.

Norman Volker Franz, 52, has been on the run since busting out of prison in Portugal in 1999. But cops in Germany believe an eagle-eyed citizen visiting the Caribbean saw the most-wanted man while visiting Curaçao, The Daily Mirror reported.

“A German tourist saw a man on the island in April who matched Norman Franz’s description,” North Rhine-Westphalia police said. “He knows that he is not allowed to be near Germans. They might recognize him.”

Interpol authorities put out a red alert last February in an updated request to the public for help in tracking Franz down, saying he should still be considered armed and dangerous decades after his latest escape.

“Franz has a long history of violent and organized crime, including armed robberies,” the international law enforcement agency said in a statement. “He was convicted of murder in 1996, after throwing a grenade into a car which killed two of its occupants.”

Franz received a life sentence for the slayings but later escaped from a German prison by sawing through the bars of his cell in March 1997, the Mirror reported.

Franz, who was preparing to start classes at a technical college in Germany at the time of the killings, was part of a gang that targeted banks, smuggled cigarettes and traded weapons.

A photo of Germany's most wanted serial killer Norman Volker Franz, taken in 1998
Norman Volker Franz has twice been spotted on a Caribbean island.
LKA NRW/Newsflash

Franz and three other men lured the victims before tossing a grenade into their vehicle, killing two. He was later arrested at a toll booth while trying to sneak into France with his 23-year-old girlfriend, the Mirror reported.

Franz then allegedly killed three security guards in two shootings in Germany over the next four months before he was arrested in October 1998 for a second time in Albufeira, Portugal, the newspaper reported.

Interpol said Franz had been working in the real estate business at the time while living with his family under the aliases of Carsten Müller and Michael Stuever.

Norman Volker Franz, taken in Portugal in 1998
Norman Volker Franz was part of a gang that targeted banks, smuggled cigarettes and traded weapons.
LKA NRW/Newsflash

Franz proceeded to break out of prison a second time by again cutting through the window bars of his cell at a Lisbon prison, the Mirror reported. He has since managed to elude authorities across the globe.

A reward of more than $36,000 is being offered by Europol for information leading to Franz’s arrest.

“As there is an outstanding warrant of arrest for Norman Volker Franz on suspicion of robbery and murder in five cases, he is subject of world-wide searches,” the agency said in a notice on Europe’s most-wanted fugitives.

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