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Yugoslav War Crimes Suspect Reportedly Arrested In Kenya

MOMBASA, Kenya (Reuters) -- A man wanted on suspicion of war crimes in the former Yugoslavia has been arrested in Kenya where he was running a water sports business for years, police and colleagues said.

The man was named as Igor Majeski, in his 60s, by police sources and colleagues at the Whitesands hotel, just north of the Indian Ocean coast city of Mombasa, where he worked.

Kenyan police said he was carrying a Croatian passport, but may have been using false documents. A Croatian police official also suggested Majeski may have been an assumed name.

"He's been a wanted man for a long time and the arrest was made after thorough investigations by security agents," a police officer in Mombasa, who did not want to be named, told Reuters.

He said the man was wanted by an international tribunal.

A spokeswoman for the prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague declined to comment on the arrest, adding that she had no information to provide. The court had also declined comment.

Two high profile fugitives remain on the run from the ICTY -- Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic, 67, who has been indicted for genocide, and Croatian Serb leader Goran Hadzic, wanted for crimes against humanity.

The detainee in Mombasa was to be flown to the Kenyan capital Nairobi on March 27.

Shocked Colleagues

Workers at the hotel were stunned.

"I was shocked. The suspect in question has been operating his water sports company for over 25 years. When he first came here, he had the right papers and was given space to operate on those grounds," Whitesands manager Mohammed Hersi told Reuters.

Reuters TV footage, taken in January 2008 for a story on tourism in the area, shows the arrested man standing in shorts and T-shirt outside his water sports shop on the beachfront.

He gave an interview openly from his desk.

Other workers at the hotel described him as a jovial man who has always mingled easily with tourists and others.

Kenya's deputy police spokesman Charles Owino said the detainee's identity and nationality were still not established with precision, though he was carrying a Croatian passport.

"If somebody is a wanted person then definitely he could be operating with false documents," he said.

"Let us finish our investigations. You should not be in a hurry. When we conclusively get information, we will brief you, we will brief the whole world."

A Croatian police official declined to confirm if the name was indeed Igor Majeski, but told Reuters: "It is a valid passport of someone registered in Croatia, but the person by that name is not on our wanted list ... We have sent a photograph to Interpol to check and compare. It is possible the passport is being used by someone else."