By Karl Smallman and James Bryce
A DANGEROUS British sex offender has been arrested in a backstreet of Fuengirola just hours after he appeared on a list of most wanted criminals living in Spain.
Dominic Stephen Powell, 48, from Coventry, was picked up by police after it emerged he is wanted for a string of allegations of child abuse and making indecent images.
Powell – who was being hunted by South Wales Police – has been jailed in the past for paedophile offences.
The Brit faces prosecution in relation to indecent assaults, offences of sexual activity with a child, attempted rape, making indecent images of children and further offences of failing to comply with police notification requirements.
According to a local police source, he had been ‘moving around a bit’ over the last few months and had had some domestic issues.
Lord Ashcroft, KCMG, Founder and Chair of Crimestoppers, said on Thursday: “Today marks the fifth anniversary of Operation Captura, and nothing could highlight the importance of this campaign more than the arrest of a wanted individual such as this.
“This arrest demonstrates not only the success of the campaign – as Powell was located just hours after his appeal was launched – but also can be seen as a testament to the public, who have shown continued support for this campaign throughout it’s five years.”
This latest arrest brings the total number of those located to 47 out of 65 appeals since Operation Captura launched in October 2006.
Powell is one of ten fugitives – including a murderer and a drug trafficker – sought by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).
Among those still being hunted is suspected drug trafficker Simon Dutton, 34, from Bolton, who is believed to have imported nearly two million euros of cocaine into the UK from Spain.
Other criminals on the list include Kirk Bradley, 26, and Tony Downes, 25, both from Liverpool, who the Olive Press reported earlier this year had fled to Spain after escaping from a prison van in Manchester.
The pair – described as ‘dangerous and violent’ – were due to stand trial for conspiracy to possess firearms to endanger life and conspiracy to damage property with intent to endanger life.
Andrew Terrence Moran, 29, from Manchester, escaped from a Burnley courtroom while being tried for armed robbery, while Derek McGraw Ferguson (also known as William Murdoch Henderson), 47, from Glasgow, is wanted for murder.
The Scot has a number of distinguishing marks including tattoos of an arrow and a dagger and a chunk missing from his left ear.
The list also includes William ‘Buff’ Thoms Robert Paterson, 32, from Glasgow, and Allan James Foster, 39, from South Shields, who are wanted for unconnected murders.
Another suspected murderer on the list is Kevin Thomas Parle, 31, from Liverpool, and Christopher Guest More, 34, from Cheshire, was part of a gang who killed a man who refused to hand over cash.
He is also wanted in connection with the attempted murder of another man and for the false imprisonment and assault of other victims.
Andy Baker, deputy director of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) said: “Operation Captura has proved immensely successful, not only in aiding the arrest of individuals attempting to hide amongst the expat community in Spain, but also as a means of raising the profile of these individuals and making Spain a hostile environment for British criminals.”
Callers from Spain can contact a special freephone Spanish 900 555 111 telephone number which will be answered in the UK by Crimestoppers call agents.
Information can also be passed on anonymously via the Crimestoppers number 0800 555 111.