The needle in a haystack search for Weybread murder suspect Ali Qazimaj
- Credit: PA
Suffolk police face a difficult task to find murder suspect Ali Qazimaj due to freedom of movement across Europe, a former senior homicide detective has said.
Qazimaj is being hunted in connection with the stabbing of 75-year-old Peter Stuart and the disappearance of his wife Sylvia, 69.
The couple lived in Mill Lane, Weybread, near Diss.
Qazimaj abandoned his Citroen C3 in Dover before getting on a ferry to Calais last Saturday soon after 7pm. At the time the 42-year-old Kosovan forklift truck driver from Tilbury was on foot and unaccompanied.
His name only became linked with the investigation the following day.
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Former Met Police murder squad Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton, who lives in mid-Suffolk, said the inquiry team’s job has now been made even harder due to the lack of border controls on the continent.
Mr Sutton said officers would have contacted Europol and Interpol, and given the agencies details of the identity documents Qazimaj may be travelling under.
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However, he added: “To be honest once someone is in the Schengen area with a passport it is very difficult to keep tabs on them.
“You have to do it through CCTV and those sort of things. It makes things a whole lot more difficult.”
The Schengen area is made up of more than two dozen European countries which have abolished passport and any other type of border control. It mainly functions as a single country for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy.
Mr Stuart’s body was found in woodland near the couple’s home last Friday evening.
He had been stabbed multiple times. Police have not been able to trace Mrs Stuart since the last sighting of the couple at a farm shop in Pulham Market, Norfolk on the morning of Sunday, May 29.
The man leading the inquiry, Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Parkes, has said the likelihood of finding Mrs Stuart alive is now remote.
Detectives are working with the French authorities and other law enforcement agencies in countries between France and Kosovo to find Qazimaj.
He is said to have previously lived in, or travelled to, various countries.