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Belarus Jails South African For 13 Years For Failed Bank Heist

A police photograph taken after Dirk Prinsloo's arrest

A police photograph taken after Dirk Prinsloo's arrest

BARANAVICHI, Belarus -- A court in the Belarusian city of Baranavichi today sentenced South African national George Dirk Prinsloo to 13 years in jail for attempted armed robbery, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

The trial found him guilty of trying to rob the Baranavichi branch of Belarus Bank on June 12, as well as hooliganism. Prinsloo had to flee the bank empty-handed after a bank worker called police.

Prinsloo is wanted in his homeland for alleged sex crimes, including pedophilia. He came to Belarus from South Africa in 2006.

Colonel Mikhail Starykovich, the chief of Interpol's office in Belarus, told journalists on February 1 that if he were found guilty Prinsloo could spend part of his sentence in Belarus and later be extradited to South Africa.