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Sex crimes accused and former Pretoria advocate Dirk Prinsloo was arrested in the Republic of Belarus, three years after skipping the country, the police said on Saturday.
"We have been informed by Interpol that Prinsloo was arrested at 5.30pm on Friday after an attempted bank robbery in Belarus," said spokesperson Director Sally de Beer.
Prinsloo and two other men allegedly tried to rob a bank on Wednesday, They were armed with a pistol and knife.
"The staff at the bank co-operated but eventually managed to overpower two of the suspects," De Beer said.
"Prinsloo ran away but was tracked down and arrested two days later."
Prinsloo skipped bail and fled South Africa in May 2006.
At the time of his escape Prinsloo was on trial with co-accused Cezanne Visser on a host of charges - including the sexual abuse of children, Radio 702 reported.
De Beer said that they would make a formal application for extradition.
"Obviously he will be tried in Belarus for the attempted robbery ... but he can be extradited to South Africa," she said.
Crime Line has welcomed the arrest, saying it was "thrilled" that one of the most wanted men was now in custody.
"We are happy that the fugitive is in custody," said Crime Line head Yusuf Abramjee.
Last week Crime Stoppers International, of which Crime Line is a member, released photographs of 140 of the world's most wanted criminals, he said.
Among those featured was Prinsloo. - Sapa