Is it the spectacular beaches? The velvety wine? The exchange rate? Something compelling seems to lure fugitives from around the world to the South African city of Cape Town. Last week police in the seaside metropolis arrested American fugitives Craig Michael Pritchert, 40, and Nova Ester Guthrie, 30, wanted by the FBI for a series of bank heists staged across the American West in the mid-1990s. U.S. officials say Guthrie and Pritchert--a former college baseball star who turned to crime after he felt he had been eclipsed by his teammate and future big-league slugger Barry Bonds--spent much of the $500,000 they allegedly had stolen on day trading and traveling the world. The couple moved to Cape Town three years ago, where Guthrie got a job as a nightclub manager.
The latter-day Bonnie and Clyde are not the only fugitives to have turned up in Africa's fun city. In 1999 Khalfan Khamis Mohamed, an al-Qaeda agent wanted for the bombing of the U.S. embassy in Tanzania, was found there flipping burgers at a fast-food joint. Former Symbionese Liberation Army member James Kilgore, sought for his role in the 1975 murder of church worker Myrna Opsahl during a bank robbery in Carmichael, Calif., was found last year teaching economics at the University of Cape Town. And German con man Jurgen Harksen, who had lived in the city since 1993, was extradited to Germany last year, where he was convicted of fraud. Why do fugitives flock to this beautiful city? "Perhaps they think we're at the end of the world," ventures a spokesman for the mayor. "Little do they know, we are far more First World than Third. Our international links are strong." --By Simon Robinson and Peter Hawthorne