Wanted cult school leader allegedly spotted in the US

A Danish couple in Denver International Airport claim to have seen Amdi Petersen who is wanted for financial crimes by Interpol

National police have been tipped off by a Danish couple who said they ran into the former leader of the Tvind school, Mogens Amdi Petersen, at Denver International Airport in the US state of Colorado yesterday.


The couple described seeing a tall man closely resembling the 74-year old Petersen, one of Denmark’s most wanted men. Petersen was sentenced in absentia to a year in prison for financial crimes by the Western High Court in Aarhus in August.


Allegedly, the man in the airport disappeared the minute he heard the couple speaking Danish.


National police haven't been able to confirm that Petersen was in Denver, but Frede Bisgaard of the state attorney’s department for special economic and international crime, SØIK, said they are taking the call seriously.


"It is a very specific tip-off and it will of course be investigated," Bisgaard told Berlingske newspaper. "I can't reveal the possibilities we have for an investigation, but the US is a well-regulated country and there is a good chance that we will get some answers." 


The Western High Court court ruled in August that there was reason to suspect that Petersen and four co-defendants had embezzled millions of kroner from the Tvind Fund in the 1990s and that they have avoided criminal proceedings, making them eligible for incarceration.


READ MORE: 'Cult school' leader sentenced to prison


The ruling allowed for a European arrest warrant to be issued and the possibility of Petersen being arrested by local authorities in any of the 26 Schengen countries or the 120 countries worldwide that co-operate with Interpol. The arrest warrant means that he has limited opportunities to cross borders using his own passport.


Will try surveillance footage

Bisgaard wouldn't reveal how often the police get tip-offs concerning Petersen's whereabouts, but said that in this specific instance, the police can ask the American authorities to help them by providing passenger lists or giving them access to the surveillance footage from when the Danish couple spotted Petersen.


"This will not just be discarded without an investigation. We are going to react immediately," Bisgaard said.