NOS News•today, 1:07 PM•Amended today, 1:41 PM
The police arrested a 43-year-old fugitive man from Poland in Schijndel in Brabant this morning. He was sentenced in absentia in Poland in 2019 to life in prison for the murder of two people in 2005.
It concerns “a renowned former MMA (mixed martial arts) fighter”, the police report. According to Polish media, it is 43-year-old Rafal Pacyna from the southern Polish city of Bedzin. He killed a man and a woman in their home there in 2005. Two days after the double murder, he set fire to the couple’s apartment. The motive for the double murder is unknown.
According to Polish authorities, the man was hiding in the Netherlands under a false identity and may be working in construction. A European arrest warrant was issued for him in 2021.
‘Europe’s Most Wanted’
That year, the case also received priority within a European network of specialized police teams dedicated to tracking down fugitives, the ENFAST network.
A Polish team sought cooperation with Dutch colleagues, which yielded no results at the time. But in November last year, new leads emerged from Poland and the Netherlands after the case was posted on the ‘Europe’s Most Wanted’ website. These strengthened the suspicion of the man’s presence in the Netherlands.
The man is in custody and will be brought to trial after the weekend. The court in Amsterdam will then make a decision on his extradition to Poland.