On the run since 1999
Norman Volker Franz is one of the ten most dangerous criminals the BKA is looking for. Now rumours are emerging again and again, at present intensified, that Franz is supposed to be on the African continent after his sensational escape from a Portuguese prison in 1999. A vague trace has led investigators once before, in vain, towards southern Africa. There he allegedly ran a farm or went back into the real estate business.
Nobody can say whether Franz did not return to Germany again, like a chameleon, and commit further robberies - there should be nothing left of the DM loot from the mid-1990s. Especially since he could certainly only manage his escape in Portugal with the help of third parties. In such circles, one does nothing out of human kindness.
Tracks to Africa
Too unbelievable stories entwine themselves around the murder suspect, who has been on the run for more than a decade, who, believe it or not, twice managed to break out of prisons and disappear without a trace. Once, together with his now-divorced wife and former escape assistant, he earned his living as a real estate agent in the shores of Portugal. Franz knows how to assume a new identity, just as others manage to put on a T-shirt.
After he was tracked down by BKA investigators, he escaped from Portuguese custody and disappeared again. Franz, who is classified as extremely dangerous, is undoubtedly happy about the rumours, which only make his further escape more likely. It is precisely the kind of smokescreen tactics the suspected robber needs.
In numerous internet forums, he is suspected in the vastness of Russia, or even more absurdly in the Federal Republic. Secret admiration is not appropriate for murder suspects. Franz is talked about like a modern Robin Hood.
But he isn't, because Franz is suspected of killing five people out of greed. That deserves no respect.
The last insane rumour: Franz is said to be in Western Sahara, an impenetrable breeding ground for Islamist terror, and to be engaged in all kinds of services there. Days later, the rumour circulated that he had gone into hiding in the troubled Congolese province of Kivu, where he was involved in mining. Where? Who carried the news did not know.
But perhaps the investigators are already so close on the Phantom's heels that he is practising disinformation on himself. It would mean that it is to be expected that one of the longest escapes in German criminal history could come to an end within the next few years.
Anyone who travels now and has relevant clues should contact the appropriate authorities and not play the hero. Franz is probably armed and highly dangerous.
Office in charge:
North Rhine-Westphalia Criminal Police Department
Völklinger Str. 49
Phone: +49 (0)211 9394-112
Federal Criminal Police Office
Wiesbaden Federal Criminal Police Office
Phone: +49 (0)611 55-13101
Each police station will, of course, also take the tips.