Belfast Telegraph

Police hunt one-legged drug dealer who fled to Belfast

Fugitive: A CCTV image of organised crime group boss Richard Wakeling
Fugitive: A CCTV image of organised crime group boss Richard Wakeling

By Margaret Davis

CCTV footage has been released of a one-legged English drug dealer who fled to Northern Ireland and has now been a fugitive for more than a year.

Richard Wakeling (52), from Brentwood, Essex, tried to import £8m of liquid amphetamine into the UK in April 2016.

He fled before his trial began and was sentenced to 11 years in his absence at Chelmsford Crown Court on April 9 last year.

Yesterday the National Crime Agency released CCTV footage of him leaving his home on January 5 last year as investigators continue to try to track him down.

The clip shows him chatting to a workman and getting into his white Audi Q3, registration number EF66 ZWR.

He left Essex that day and travelled through Iver in Buckinghamshire, before catching a bus from Heathrow to Glasgow and taking a ferry from Stranraer to Belfast.

The NCA said that he has family here, the Republic, Canada and Thailand.

A week after he disappeared his car was driven back to his home in Essex.

NCA operations manager Paul Green said: "Wakeling has been on the run for well over a year now and knows we are still looking for him.

"He should also know we will do everything in our power to bring him back to serve his sentence.

"I would urge him to hand himself in.

"I've no doubt someone seeing this appeal will have information about his whereabouts."

He added: "Anyone helping Wakeling or actively frustrating our efforts to find him could be arrested for assisting an offender."

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