Police say the 40-year-old New Zealander was arrested after he was seen at a hotel in the center of the Spanish capital on Wednesday, staying under one of the assumed names. Police did not give the fugitive’s full name, but only his initials “MJP.” This is one of the ten most wanted fugitives by the FBI, for information on whose capture there was a reward offer of $100,000. According to an AFP source, this is Michael James Pratt, who was sentenced to life in prison in the United States for acts of “child pornography”, “sexual exploitation”, “sexual abuse” and “illicit enrichment”.
The New Zealander allegedly recruited several young adults and underage girls in the United States and Canada between 2012 and 2019 through job advertisements. A 40-year-old man, owner of a production company and pornographic websites, was about to publish hundreds of videos of these young women. According to authorities, he would have earned more than $17 million through these actions. Also accused of sexually abusing several young women, Michael James Pratt escaped after his life sentence. Since November 2019, an international arrest warrant has been issued against him.
According to the Spanish police, the security forces had information that he was in Spain. American investigators even arrived at the scene, but their searches, carried out in Barcelona, were unsuccessful, says the press release.