Organised crime group boss hunted over £8m conspiracy

15 Apr 2019 02:10 PM

The National Crime Agency yesterday released CCTV footage of an organised crime group boss who fled before he was convicted and sentenced to 11 years.

UN Richard Wakeling

Richard Wakeling, 52, from Brentwood, Essex, tried to import £8million of liquid amphetamine into the UK in April 2016.

On April 9 last year he was sentenced in his absence at Chelmsford Crown Court after he absconded before his 12-week trial began.

Wakeling has a prosthetic leg and needs regular medical treatment.

Yesterday, 15 months on, the NCA released CCTV footage of Wakeling’s last recorded movements and is appealing for help tracing him.

Wakeling left his home in Juniper Court, Beech Avenue, Brentwood, Essex, at 9.48am on Friday January 5. He drove off in his car, a white Audi Q3, registration number EF66 ZWR.

The car was in the Iver area later that day before he caught a bus from Heathrow to Glasgow. The following day he took a ferry from Stranraer to Belfast.

A week later on Saturday January 13, Wakeling’s car was driven back to his home address.

Wakeling has family and friends in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Canada and Thailand.

NCA Operations Manager Paul Green yesterday said:

“Wakeling has been on the run for well over a year now and knows we are still looking for him.

“He should also know we will do everything in our power to bring him back to serve his sentence.

“I would urge him to hand himself in. I’ve no doubt someone seeing this appeal will have information about his whereabouts.

“Anyone helping Wakeling or actively frustrating our efforts to find him could be arrested for assisting an offender."

Anyone with information can call the NCA Control Centre on 0370 496 7622 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.