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'Most wanted' fugitives captured

Two fugitives who featured on the UK's most wanted list on suspicion of drug trafficking have been captured in Europe with 24 hours of each other.

Jayson McDonald was found hiding under a bed in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, while Paul Monk was captured at his luxury villa in the holiday hotspot of Alicante on the Spanish coast.

They were arrested as part of Operation Captura, a drive launched in 2006 by the National Crime Agency, Crimestoppers and Spanish authorities to catch suspects who had fled from the UK.

Monk, 54, from Romford in Essex was overseeing workmen laying a marble patio around his swimming pool when armed police swooped at the address where an imitation firearm with silencer and 125,000 euro were recovered.

On Wednesday morning McDonald, aged 37, from Acton, west London, was apprehended as part of a separate joint investigation with the Dutch National Police.

McDonald had been hiding in Spain but it is believed he based himself in the Netherlands after officers raided a property where he was living in the Coin area of Malaga last month.

He is wanted on suspicion of conspiracies to import and supply heroin and cocaine, and is believed to be a member of a Europe-wide organised crime network responsible for the importation of Class A drugs into the UK.

Monk is wanted on suspicion of conspiracy to supply cocaine and conspiracy to supply cannabis.

He was allegedly involved in the handover of a kilo of cocaine in Cockfosters, north London, in May 2013.

He is also linked to the seizure of 23 kilos of herbal cannabis and one kilo of cannabis resin in October 2013 in Colchester, Essex.

Both men are wanted by the Metropolitan Police on suspicion of drugs offences and are currently in custody awaiting extradition proceedings.

Dave Allen, head of the UK International Crime Bureau at the NCA, said: "Our ability to capture two of our most wanted fugitives in different countries within 24 hours demonstrates the NCA's international reach.

"Nowhere is a safe haven for British fugitives and we will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners across the world to track them down and return them to the UK to face justice."

The arrests come less than a month after an appeal for information about the men's whereabouts.

A total of 68 out of 86 fugitives on the Operation Captura list have now been caught.

Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC, the founder and chair of Crimestoppers, praised the results, adding: "This should be a warning to the remaining individuals on the Captura list that they cannot hide forever. If the public continue to contact Crimestoppers and give information anonymously, I am confident we will see more arrests in the future."


From Belfast Telegraph