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Briton held in Spain drugs bust

A suspected British drugs baron described as one of the most investigated criminals in Europe has been arrested in Spain.

Brian Charrington, a former Middlesbrough car salesman, was detained in the city of Alicante accused of smuggling cocaine.

Spanish police said Charrington, 57, headed a gang that took cocaine in luxury boats from South America to Spain for distribution in Europe.

Describing him as one of the most investigated criminals in Europe, Spanish authorities said they found 220kg of cocaine and seized assets worth five million euros (£4.3 million) in the operation.

The statement also said one of his sons was arrested in Spain while Charrington's girlfriend was among six people arrested in Venezuela.

In the 1980s Charrington, who police say owns 10 luxury villas in Alicante, allegedly worked with notorious drugs trafficker Curtis Warren in an attempt to smuggle drugs from South America.

It later emerged that he had been working as a police informant and after being rehoused in Australia he moved to Spain.

This is the latest in a number of arrests by Spanish police which have seen several most-wanted Britons taken into custody.

In May fugitive armed robber Andrew Moran was arrested by the swimming pool of his Costa Blanca villa and earlier this month drugs trafficker Mark Lilley was arrested in his villa near Malaga.

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