Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fugitive from Washington, D.C. Area Wanted for International Parental Kidnapping

The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced today the addition of Faical Ben Abdallah Chebbi to the Washington Field Office’s Wanted Fugitives list. Chebbi, a former resident of Prince George’s County, Maryland, is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Tunisia and is wanted for international parental kidnapping.

On October 26, 2011, following his divorce proceedings, Chebbi, 40, was awarded visitation rights with his two children, Zainab, 3, and Eslam, 6. On November 11, 2011, Chebbi obtained his children from their maternal grandparents’ residence in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The children were supposed to be returned on November 13, 2011; however, on November 11, 2011, Chebbi and the children flew from Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Virginia, to Germany, and then they continued to Tunis, Tunisia. On November 12, 2011, Chebbi contacted the children’s mother, who resides in Fairfax County, Virginia, and informed her that he and the children were in Tunisia and would not return to the U.S.

On November 17, 2011, the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County, Maryland, issued an order for Chebbi to return the children. On December 19, 2011, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia issued a federal warrant for Chebbi’s arrest for removing the children from the U.S. and retaining them outside the U.S. with the intent to obstruct the lawful exercise of parental rights.

Chebbi is 6’6” (198 cm) tall and weighs approximately 200 pounds (91 kg) and has black hair, brown eyes, and a medium complexion. Chebbi’s daughter Zainab has brown hair and brown eyes and a mole on her right hip. Eslam, Chebbi’s son, has black hair and brown eyes. Both children speak English and are believed to be with Chebbi in Tunisia.

Chebbi speaks fluent Arabic, English, and French and is likely to visit Algeria, Libya, Egypt, and France. He may use an alias when crossing borders. While residing in the Washington, D.C. area, Chebbi was a limousine driver for several companies and operated his own limousine business called Airport Access. Chebbi is believed to continue to operate a self-employed business in Tunis, Tunisia, under the name Westwind Limousine.

The FBI investigates violations of the International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act (IPKCA) of 1993, which states that a criminal arrest warrant can be issued for a parent who takes a juvenile under 16 outside of the U.S. without the other custodial parent’s permission. The FBI works these cases in partnership with international authorities through the U.S. Department of State, Interpol, and FBI Legal Attaché offices.

Individuals with information concerning Faical Chebbi or his children should call 1-800-CALL-FBI or the nearest American embassy or consulate.

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