Crimestoppers and the National Crime Agency (formerly the Serious Organised Crime Agency) have released information about criminals believed to be on the run in Spain in eight batches under Operation Captura since 2006. 58 of the 76 people wanted under Operation Captura have now been arrested and brought to justice.
Increasingly, crime in other countries has an impact on the UK. Although Crimestoppers has no formal mandate to act outside of this country, the charity does work on projects that can help to reduce crime in the UK.
For years, Spain has been an appealing hideaway for British criminals evading capture. But this changed in 2004 with European Arrest Warrants, making it easier to bring British criminals back to face justice.
Latest batch (eighth) released on 14 November 2013
- Ian STANTON is a suspected ringleader of a cocaine smuggling ring which saw more than 400kg of drugs hidden in a shipment of frozen Argentinean beef. ARRESTED 29.11.13 in the Netherlands
- Stephen BLUNDELL wanted for the conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, and was convicted for being principal organiser of his own heroin supply chain.
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- Daniel DUGIC is wanted for his alleged involvement in a conspiracy to import 255kg of cocaine into the UK with an estimated street value of £53 million.
- David HEWSON was sentenced to eleven years and one month in prison in December 2012 for his involvement in a number of drug offences in the Liverpool area. After pleading guilty to the charges against him, he absconded before he was sentenced in his absence.
- Robert KNIGHT is believed to be part of a gang who attempted to import 6kg of cocaine through Heathrow Airport in a package originating from the Dominican Republic in 2008. Five other people involved were arrested and charged but Knight remains at large.
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- David MATHER is wanted for £500,000 worth of drug offences. He has been convicted in his absence to serve 18 years in prison after 32 wrapped packages of heroin were found within the bumper of a lorry stopped at the Humber sea terminal in May 2010.
ARRESTED 21.02.14 IN SPAIN. For more information visit the NCA website.
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- Michael McCARTNEY is convicted of committing sexual offences against three young males under the age of 16 over a number of years. McCartney was found guilty of these offences in March 2013 but he failed to appear in court for sentencing and is believed to have fled to Spain.
Read full press release for more information ARRESTED 14/11 at 16.30pm GMT
- Christopher MEALY is wanted alongside Daniel BOWES for the suspected importation of cocaine from the Netherlands between March 2011 and January 2012.
- Robert MORTBY is accused of being involved in the attempted murder of Richard Walsh in London in July 2012.
- Brian THEXTON is accused of being involved in night-time robberies at isolated properties. He is also awaiting trial for conspiracy to supply drugs. Thexton has also pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal motor vehicles, plant and machinery on three occasions in 2010. ARRESTED 27/11 at 20.00 GMT
- Keith TURNER is accused of obtaining property by deception. He is also unlawfully at large following the revocation of his life licence in October 2000.
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- Lee WILLIS was arrested following a raid on a property in Stalybridge whereby drugs worth £25,000 were seized along with mobile phones. He pleaded guilty to Possession of Class A and Class B drugs with intent to supply, however he failed to attend court for sentencing. In April 2013, Willis was also stopped in a vehicle on suspicion of further drugs supply. He failed to answer bail for this offence and remains at large.
Read full press release for more information ARRESTED 1/1/2014 in Bolton.
Arrest information to date:
First batch - Operation Captura
- Dante LATRECHE – wanted for credit card fraud. Arrested in UK in 2007 and has received suspended prison sentence.
- James HURLEY – convicted killer of a police-man who escaped custody in 1994. He was arrested in 2007 in The Netherlands for drug offences.
- Ian WHITE – tobacco smuggler who masterminded a £6million VAT scam, arrested in Spain. He was tried, convicted and sentenced to six years imprisonment in his absence on the 11th March 2004. He was returned to the UK on the 20th September 2007 and after appearing in court he was sent to prison to start serving his sentence.
- Anthony SIMMONDS – wanted for importing large quantities of cannabis from Spain and cheating VAT of £4million. Arrested in Spain in December 2006 and was returned to the UK in early 2007. After appearing in court his sentence of three year's imprisonment was confirmed. He was also given a three month sentence in respect of the absconding, which is being served consecutively.
- Clifford HOBBS – escaped in custody on his way to court in London where he was to stand trial for the theft of £1.25million from a security van. Arrested in Spain and returned to the UK in August 2007.
- Donald HAISMAN – wanted for drug offences and arrested in Belgium in February 2008.
- Ronald PRIESTLEY - wanted for currency counterfeiting offences and arrested in Malaga, Spain, in October 2009.
- Terence Leslie SHIELDS - wanted in connection with the importation of 5kg of diamorphine in 2000 and arrested in the Netherlands in January 2010.
Second batch - Operation Captura
- John DOWDALL - wanted for importing large quantities of cannabis from Spain in 2003. He was tried, convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment in his absence on the 17th May 2005. After being arrested in Spain, he was returned to the UK in September 2007. After appearing in court he was sentenced to a further four month's imprisonment, which is to run consecutively to the sentence of his original sentence.
- Markcus JAMAL – wanted for conspiracy for murder of Nageeb El Hakem in 2005. He arrested in Spain and returned to the UK in January 2007.
- John SETON – wanted for the murder of Jon Bartlett in March 2006. Arrested in the Netherlands and returned to the UK in May 2007.
- Lisa SANDERSON – Wanted for obtaining property mortgages by deception (3 offences in total, jointly with 7 others with a total monetary value of £1.2 million). She was arrested in Portugal in September 2008.
- Robert SPIERS – was wanted in connection with a shooting in a UK public house, He was arrested in Spain in July 2008 after being on the run for two years.
- Anthony CRAGGS - was wanted for two armed robberies using firearms that occurred in Bournemouth and Edinburgh in 2003. A total of £90,000 was stolen as it was being delivered to two branches of the Abbey National by Securicor guards who were violently assaulted during both of the robberies.
- David Anthony STUART - was originally arrested in July 2004 for possession of 20,000 ecstasy tablets. He failed to attend his trial at Preston Crown Court in June 2005 and was subsequently charged with two offences of conspiracy to supply a Class A controlled drug, namely MDMA (ecstasy) & possession with intent to supply a Class A controlled drug.
- Dennis Patrick O'BRIEN - was sought on an European Arrest Warrant originally issued in 2006 by Merseyside Police and faces prosecution for Conspiracy to Supply Cocaine with a street value of over £166 million.
- Andrew MORAN was wanted for his involvement in an armed cash in transit robbery that took place on the 23rd May 2005. He was arrested in Spain in May 2013.
- Mark Alan LILLEY was arrested in July 2013, after he was sentenced in 2000 to 23 years in jail for drugs offences.
Third batch - Operation Captura
- James GULLIFORD - On 30 April 2003 it is alleged that Gulliford stabbed another man with a screwdriver over a suspected drugs debt. He was arrested in Spain in January 2008.
- John Cearney BARKER - Barker was wanted under two European Arrest Warrants for trafficking in cocaine and amphetamine to the value of over £110,000 in 1998 and 1999 within Scotland. He was arrested in Spain earlier this year.
- Keith BURKE - Burke was involved in a violent assault that took place in the toilets of “The Top Club” bar in Edlington, Doncaster on 8 July 2001. He was convicted and sentenced to three years imprisonment for affray. He was arrested in Spain in the UK 2008.
- Daniel JOHNSTON - Between September 2004 and January 2006 Johnston is wanted for carrying two robberies, one attempted robbery and one theft in licensed stores in Derbyshire, usually armed with a knife. He was arrested in Spain in December 2008.
- Noel CUNNINGHAM – One of Clifford Hobb's associated and he was wanted for conspiracy to rob, conspiracy to steal, having an offensive weapon, handling stolen goods, escape, wounding/inflicting grievous bodily harm, wounding/inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent, possessing firearm with intent. He was arrested in the Netherlands in September 2009.
- James TOMKINS - Tomkins was wanted by the Metropolitan Police Service over the murder of electrician Rocky Dawson, 24, in Hornchurch, in May 2006.
Fourth batch - Operation Captura
- Alan MACDONALD GORDON - Gordon was accused of supplying controlled drugs in the Scottish Highlands. He was arrested in Spain in November 2008.
- Andrew ALDERMAN - Convicted to 10 years' imprisonment for indecent assault and rape of a girl under the age of 16, between 1st January 1995 and 30th April 2004. Alderman handed himself over to authorities in Madrid in November 2008.
- Andrew SNELGROVE - Snelgrove was wanted for attempted murder in London, wounding with intent and possession of a firearm with the intent to danger life on 24 June 1999. He was arrested in Spain in June 2009.
- Anthony KEARNEY – Kearney was accused of fraudulent offences, including obtaining benefits from Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and setting up false accounts. He was arrested along with his accomplice, McCafferty, within hours of the press conference in Alicante in November 2008.
- Donna MCCAFFERTY - McCafferty is accused of committing fraudulent offences between 1999 and 2004. She was arrested, with her accomplice Kearney, in Alicante in November 2008.
- Dennis HUNTER – Hunter was arrested in Hungary in February 2009.
- Thomas COCHRAN - Cochran was accused of being involved in the supply of drugs in Scotland. He was arrested in Scotland in September 2009.
- Adam HART - Hart was wanted by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) accused of being involved in the conspiracy to supply controlled Class A drugs, namely Cocaine. He was arrested in the Netherlands on 2 December 2009.
- Dean Lawrence RICE - Born 12/06/1961 in Exeter, was convicted in his absence to life imprisonment for conspiracy to kidnap & false imprisonment. He was arrested in Spain on 23 February 2011.
Fifth batch - Operation Captura
- Michael EDDLESTON - Eddleston was accused of three counts of illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. He handed himself into authorities in Majorca on 29 September 2009.
- Stephen BURNELL - Burnell was found guilty at York Crown Court on 2 March 2007 of offences of attempted rape, indecent assault on a female, indecency with a child and taking indecent photographs of a child. He was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment in his absence. He was arrested in Crete on 7 October 2009.
- Mark Ronald BROWN - Brown was wanted in connection with the importation of class A drugs and was believed to be the head of an organised crime gang responsible for the importation of hundreds of kilos of heroin into the UK. He was arrested in the Netherlands on 17 December.
- Joseph Stephen MORLEY - Morley was convicted of Conspiracy to Import Class A drugs and was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. He failed to return to prison when he was licensed on day release and was on the run for 10 years. He was arrested in Merseyside on 14 January 2010.
- Jody FLYNN - Flynn was wanted by Merseyside Police in connection with one grievous bodily harm (GBH) offence and had been on the run for over a year. He was arrested on Friday 19 February as he attempted to enter the country from Spain at the port of Dover using an alias.
- Benjamin MURPHY - Murphy was wanted by South Yorkshire Police for planning and executing the robbery of a jeweller’s where he stole trays of diamond jewellery and watches to the value of £1.6 million, fraudulently obtaining a passport when his valid one had been seized by the police and selling a vehicle bought on hire purchase which was not his to sell.
- Martin Anthony SMITH - Smith was wanted in connection with a rape of a child under 16, gross indecency with a girl under the age of 16, indecent assault of a girl under 16 and attempted rape of a girl under 16.
- Stephen Henry PITMAN- Pitman was wanted since 2001 on drugs offences. He was arrested on Monday 26 October 2010 in Mijas Costa.
- Paul Anthony WALMSLEY – was arrested on 27 September 2011 and wanted for prosecution for the offence of conspiracy to supply class A drugs (heroin and cocaine).
Sixth batch - Operation Captura
- Everardus WIJTVLIET - Wijtvliet was arrested on Monday 21 February 2011 in Tenerife.
- Andrew SPOONER - Spooner was arrested on 10 March 2011 in Salford, Greater Manchester.
- Patrick Pious HANCOX - Hancox was arrested on 22 March 2011 in County Longford.
- Jonathon LEJMAN - Lehman was arrested on 24 March 2011 in Tenerife.
- James DEMPSEY - Dempsey was arrested on 17 May 2011 in Spain.
- Anthony FRASER - Fraser was arrested on 18 July 2011 in Gibraltar.
- Eriberto JIMENEZ MELO - Melo was arrested on 6 May 2013 in Italy. In July 2013 he was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment, with an additional sentence of 1 year, to be served concurrently.
Seventh batch - Operation Captura Fifth Anniversary
- Dominic Stephen POWELL - Powell was arrested on the day of the launch on 20 October 2011.
- Tony DOWNES - Downes was arrested on 9 March 2012 in Amsterdam.
- Kirk BRADLEY - Bradley was arrested on 4 April 2012 in Amsterdam.
- Andrew MORAN - Moran was arrested on 10 May 2013 in Alicante, Spain.