Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

British fugitive held in Spain

Andrew Moran was arrested in Alicante on Friday

One of Britain's most wanted fugitives has been arrested in Spain, police have said.

Andrew Moran, 31, from Salford, Greater Manchester, was arrested in the resort of Calpe in Alicante on Friday, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) said.

Moran, who has been on the run for over four years, fled the country in 2009 after he vaulted the dock in a Burnley courtroom as he went on trial over a £25,000 armed robbery of Royal Mail guards. He was convicted in his absence for the cash in transit theft in 2005 in Colne, Lancashire.

Soca said Moran was captured in a dramatic raid at a luxury villa in the Costa Blanca. An elite team of armed officers swooped on the robber while he was relaxing by a swimming pool.

Soca's North West Regional Organised Crime Unit, also known as Titan, worked alongside the Spanish National Police on the raid.

They recovered two handguns, 60 rounds of ammunition and a machete at the property.

Moran was on the most wanted list for Crimestoppers' Operation Captura campaign, and his arrest means 50 fugitives have now been caught since it was launched.

Matt Burton, Soca's Head of Investigations, said: "Moran thought he could evade capture fleeing to Spain, frequently changing his appearance and using false identities.

"Like his partner in crime Devalda and the other armed robbers on the hit-list discovered, though, there's no hiding place. Soca and its partners have the capability to pursue criminals relentlessly, track them down, and put them behind bars."

Extradition proceedings are under way and Moran will be appearing at a court in Madrid on Monday.

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