POLICE in Spain have arrested Belgium’s most wanted drug trafficker after a year hiding out on Spain’s Costa del Sol.
Yannick M.W. was caught after a trip to the Axarquian town of Almunecar over Christmas to spend time with family friends.
The 33-year-old is wanted in his home country for multiple counts of drug trafficking and belonging to a criminal organisation.
Officers from the newly set up Fugitives from Justice Team were alerted to Yannick’s presence in Spain thanks to information from Antwerp gained from the raid of multiple properties back in October.
Officers were informed that Yannick had fled Belgium to the Costa del Sol, specifically the Malaga area.
It was discovered that the Belgium had relocated himself and his entire family, wife, 12-year-old daughter, parents and in-laws, to a remote, luxury villa deep in the hills surrounding Estepona.
After determining the exact location of the property, police raided the home, discovering it empty with many items and clothing gone.
After determining that his daughter was still enrolled in the local school and living with her grandparents in Estepona, police continued surveillance to try to locate the fugitive.
His location was finally exposed when police observed his grandparents packing bags into the back of a car.
Police followed them to a luxury urbanisation in the coastal town of Almunecar, where they saw the couple meeting with other members of the family over the Christmas holidays.
Finally on December 23, Yannick was spotted leaving the property on an electric scooter, a moment with allowed waiting officers to arrest him on site.
According to the police report, Yannick gave himself in willingly, explaining that he was ‘relieved after spending a year of extreme stress’ hiding from the law.
Yannick has now been detained in Spain awaiting extradition to Belgium, where it is expected that he will serve at least 15 years for his crimes.
The bust marks the latest in a series of high profile arrests carried out by Spain’s Fugitive Unit.
In 2019, the unit was responsible for the capture of notorious British pedophile David Daniel Hayes in Granada after years of working as an English teacher.