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SLOW-MOVING BUREAUCRACIES GIVE FUGITIVE INVESTOR THE GIFT OF TIME

One would think that Martin R. Frankel, the fugitive U.S. investor who fled to Europe after allegedly stealing up to $300 million from insurance companies, would be cowering in a hotel, afraid that room service might come courtesy of the FBI.

But thanks to creaking intercontinental bureaucracies, Frankel has been handed a fugitive's greatest gift -- time.

He has spent it moving through France, Spain and Italy, staying well ahead of la policia even though his poster has been faxed to 170 countries belonging to Interpol, the international police organization.

No doubt about it, a little international cooperation among law enforcement could have cut Frankel's Roman holiday short and brought him back to face a U.S. judge.

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