A CRACKDOWN on Britain’s most wanted criminals on the run in Spain has seen the arrest of two fugitives within two days.

Within hours of the new Operation Captura campaign being launched in Alicante, Everardus Wijtvliet from the Netherlands was caught in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife.

The 39-year-old is wanted for organising the importation of drugs into the UK after a lorry in Dover was found to contain 100kg of heroin and 6kg of cocaine.

And his arrest was followed by yesterday’s capture of Dean Lawrence Rice who was detained in Alhaurin, by the Spanish National Police.

Rice, who was born in Exeter, was convicted in his absence to life imprisonment for conspiracy to kidnap and false imprisonment in 2006.

This now brings the total of those arrested to 40 out of 60 since the campaign was first launched by Crimestoppers and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) in 2006.

Dave Cording, Director of Operations at Crimestoppers, said: “Two arrests in 48 hours is an incredible achievement.

“I am pleased that the launch earlier this week has encouraged the public to contact us with information to help track down Britain’s most wanted criminals.

“The second arrest shows the success of highlighting these individuals in the public eye.

“Even though Rice was publicised at an earlier batch under Operation Captura, it shows that the public continue to bring information forward.”


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