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Wanted man facing Spain murder quiz

One of the UK's most wanted fugitives is being questioned in Spain over the murder of a fellow Briton.

Paul Monk, 54, was captured as he oversaw workmen laying a marble patio around the swimming pool at his luxury villa in Alicante last week.

Spain's Guardia Civil today issued dramatic video footage showing armed officers swooping on the property, where they found an imitation firearm with silencer and 125,000 euro (£90,000).

Monk's extradition to the UK for alleged drug trafficking offences has now been put on hold while police investigate his alleged links to the murder of 25-year-old Liverpool man Francis Brennan.

Mr Brennan vanished in January 2014 after being kidnapped in Alicante by three men disguised as police officers. His body was discovered in a heavily-taped plastic bag on Zenia beach in Orihuela in March 2014.

The Guardia Civil said Monk was an associate of Paul Scott, who they believe orchestrated Mr Brennan's kidnap and murder.

Scott, 32, from Liverpool, was captured in December 2014 when he entered the UK in a light aircraft which landed on a remote rural airstrip in Norfolk.

Monk, from Romford, Essex, 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.

The footage shows grey-haired Monk, dressed in dark shorts, white socks and a T-shirt, lying face down on the floor of his villa as he is arrested.

He is later seen sitting in a patio area with his hands cuffed, surrounded by officers from the NCA and Guardia Civil.

Officers then search the property where they show a replica gun to the camera and uncover bundles of cash hidden under ornamental stones.

Authorities revealed last month that Monk was wanted as part of Operation Captura. A total of 68 out of 86 fugitives on the list have now been caught.

Monk was wanted on suspicion of conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis after he was allegedly involved in the handover of 2.2lb (1kg) of cocaine in Cockfosters, north London, in May 2013.

He is also linked to the seizure of more than 50lb (23kg) of herbal cannabis and 2.2lb (1kg) of cannabis resin in October 2013 in Colchester, Essex.

Monk was detained within 24 hours of the arrest of another suspect on the Captura list.

Jayson McDonald, 37, from Acton, west London, was found hiding under a bed in Amsterdam. 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.

McDonald is believed to have moved to the Netherlands after officers raided a property where he was living in the Coin area of Malaga, Spain, last month.

Monk's alleged associate Scott was part of a 26-strong organised crime network which plotted to smuggle up to 40 tonnes of drugs into the UK, the NCA said.

He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import cocaine and was sentenced to 14 years at Liverpool Crown Court in January. He is now facing extradition proceedings in July to face questions over Mr Brennan's murder.


From Belfast Telegraph