Walsall man linked to cocaine importation sought as part of Crimestoppers’ campaign to hunt suspected criminals in Spain

Crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers’ latest campaign to locate 13 wanted fugitives, believed to be hiding in Spain, includes an appeal for a man wanted by West Midlands Police for conspiracy to import class A drugs [14 November 2013].

Robert Knight, 52, from Walsall, is believed to be part of a gang who attempted to import 6kg of cocaine through Heathrow Airport in a package in 2008.

Five other people involved in the conspiracy were arrested and charged but Robert Knight remains at large.

Knight joins 12 other wanted individuals on the multi-agency Operation Captura campaign list, which involves Crimestoppers and the newly formed National Crime Agency (NCA) working closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Madrid and with British and Spanish law enforcement agencies.

The campaign highlights appeals for information on criminals who have European Arrest Warrants (EAWs) issued against them. Information given to Crimestoppers can help locate these criminals so that arrests can be carried out by the Spanish police.

This is the eighth appeal to launch as part of the ongoing fugitive campaign, which has so far seen 53 of 63 individuals located since its first launch in 2006.

Lord Ashcroft, KCMG PC, Founder and Chair of Crimestoppers, said: “The fact we are able to once again launch Operation Captura is an indication of how successful the last seven years have been since its inception.

“However, despite our success so far, there are still a number of dangerous criminals who see Spain as a safe haven to hide from their past, but with the support of the Spanish and UK public, we can hunt them out and bring them to justice.”

Hank Cole, Head of International Operations for the National Crime Agency, said: “The NCA and its partners have the capability to pursue fugitives relentlessly. Spain is not a safe haven. Fifty three fugitives have been caught since Captura was launched, and many more linked to other operations.

“The exceptional level of collaboration and intelligence sharing with the Spanish authorities has been vital to many of these arrests. The most important thing though is the power of this campaign to harness the eyes and ears of the public, both here and in Spain.”

Crimestoppers’ West Midlands Regional Manager, Pauline Hadley, said: “Robert Knight is thought to have been involved in a serious crime, the importation of class A drugs that would have likely ended up on the cities and streets of the West Midlands.”

“I would urge anyone with information on his whereabouts to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on our 0800 555 111 number of by filling out our anonymous online form on our website.”

For a full list of the 13 individuals featured as part of the campaign please visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org/opcaptura.

-ENDS-

For further information on Crimestoppers contact the Press Office on 0208 835 3727 or email press.office@crimestoppers-uk.org.

Notes to editors

Robert Knight Op Cap 8_Nov2013_277

Name: Robert KNIGHT

DOB: 14/04/1961

From: Walsall

EAW issued: 19/01/2009

Issuing force: West Midlands

Accusatory/Conviction: Accusatory

Offences: Conspiracy to import cocaine

Summary:  In April 2008 a suspicious consignment was stopped at Heathrow Airport that had originated from the Dominican Republic. On inspection, the package was found to contain six kilos of cocaine.

Five other people involved in the conspiracy were arrested and charged. Robert KNIGHT is allegedly linked to the importation through telephone contact with his co-conspirators.

  • This is the eighth appeal launched by Crimestoppers and the NCA since the first campaign was launched in October 2006.
  • Of the 63 individuals being sought as part of Operation Captura before this latest launch, 53 of them had been located.
  • Crimestoppers is an independent charity which helps the police to solve crimes, making communities safer. It does this by operating the 24/7 telephone number 0800 555 111 which people can ring to pass on information about crimes anonymously. They can also use our Anonymous Online Form.
  • Around 20 people are arrested and charged every day as a result of information given to Crimestoppers.
  • Since Crimestoppers began in 1988, it has received over a million actionable calls, resulting in over 126,000 arrests and charges. Over £126 million worth of goods has been recovered and over £301 million worth of drugs has been seized.
  • In 2005, Crimestoppers launched the UK’s Most Wanted on its website which allows the public to view images of criminals and pass on vital information about their whereabouts. It has been highly successful with over 2,500 arrests to date.
  • Crimestoppers UK was founded by Lord Ashcroft, KCMG PC, Chairman of Trustees. In 1988, he launched Crimestoppers in the Metropolitan Police area. Crimestoppers’ ‘call to action’ is built on a three-way partnership between the business community, the police and the media.