On the run Garifalou says he won’t be handing himself in to police
A dangerous fugitive being hunted by Coatbridge police has contacted his family to protest his innocence and declare that he won’t hand himself in.
Last week, Police Scotland issued a plea to the public for help in tracing Andreas Garifalou, which also carried a warning not to approach him.
The 31- year- old hit the headlines in November last year when we reported on how Karine Corner – the mother of his two children – claimed he had kidnapped them from their gran’s house in Coatbridge.
The children, aged eight and three, were returned to Karine three days after the case was reported by the Advertiser’s sister paper the Daily Record, but police have now been trying to track down Garifalou since November 23.
Garifalou’s sister Sandra contacted the Record following a police appeal earlier this week and said her brother intends to stay on the run.
She said: “Andreas has called me today and I can assure you he is not missing – no one in his immediate family has reported him missing.”
When asked if her brother would be getting in touch with police after their appeal to trace him, she added: “I don’t believe anyone would, until they have a fair hearing.”
Sandra also said Garifalou does not believe he was wrong to take his children in November.
According to Sandra, her brother took the kids but allowed his son and daughter to speak to their mum on his phone to assure her they were OK.
She said: “Andreas was advised by social work that he was well within his rights.”
Mum Karine revealed last week that she was terrified that Garifalou would turn up at her home while being hunted by police.
Karine begged the public to tell police if they see him, saying: “They need to find him. I don’t feel safe in my home. I’m moving from here because I don’t feel safe.
“This is my dream home and I feel I’m being forced out.
“I have an interdict so he can’t contact me but I still get text messages and pictures sent from different numbers.
“This house is meant to be my safe place for me and my kids – I just can’t live here any more.
“This has never been properly tackled by the police.
“They have said he is 36, but he is 31, and where they mention his middle name, they have spelled it wrongly.
“Are they serious about tracking him down?”
Garifalou is described as white, Scottish and 5ft 11in. He has brown hair and brown eyes and is of medium build.
He has his first name, “Andreas”, tattooed on his left arm.
Garifalou has family members in Townhead and also links to Airdrie; and is known to frequent a number of gyms in the Lanarkshire area.
Despite extensive enquiries by the police, they have been unable to locate him.
Police looking for Garifalou said: “We are appealing for anyone who has information regarding his whereabouts to come forward and contact us.
“We would also emphasise that if seen, the public should not approach him and should contact police on 101.”
Fugitive Police have warned the public not to approach Garifalou, who they have been trying to trace since late November