A SUSPECTED British drug trafficker has been arrested in Marbella.
Christopher Mealey, 38, was swooped on by Spanish police while walking along the Paseo Maritimo, after a European Arrest Warrant had been issued.
The Londoner is the 60th fugitive to be caught out of the 76 publicised through Operation Captura – a joint initiative between Crimestoppers in the UK, the National Crime Agency and the Spanish police.
Extradition proceedings are now underway after Mealey appeared in a Madrid court yesterday.
He is believed to have helped import millions of pound worth of cocaine, along with this father-in-law John Reed and six others. They have already been captured and received jail terms totalling 130 years.
“Mealey thought he could evade capture by fleeing to Spain and using false identity documents but we were able to track him down. It demonstrates the NCA and its partners have the capability to pursue fugitives relentlessly,” said Hank Cole, Head of International Operations for the NCA.
Inspector Olga Lizana, from the Spanish National Police Fugitives Unit, added: “Cooperation between Spain and the UK on fugitive operations has never been better.
“This arrest once again demonstrates that sooner or later any British fugitives hiding out in Spain will be caught.”
If anybody has any information, there is a Spanish freephone number – 900 555 111 – which is answered in the UK by Crimestoppers’ call agents. A translation service is also available for Spanish speakers.
People can also pass on information anonymously via a UK number – 0800 555 111 – and online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org