National Crime Agency
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Appeal launched for final ten Operation Captura fugitives
The final countdown is underway in Spain for Crimestoppers and SOCA as only ten most wanted individuals remain on the Operation Captura list.
The successful multi-agency initiative identifies individuals on the run who are wanted by UK law enforcement agencies for serious crimes.
With 53 of the 65 individuals now arrested, and two having had to be removed from the list, the hunt is on for the final ten who include some of the UK's most dangerous individuals. Many of those arrested are now serving lengthy prison sentences for their crimes, which range from drug trafficking to sex crimes to murder.
The last arrest was that of Darren O’Flaherty who was detained in August while celebrating his birthday in a Chinese restaurant. The 39-year-old was wanted for kidnap and robbery offences for his involvement in an HGV driver being held at knifepoint while his lorry was driven from North Yorkshire to Liverpool. Once the £400,000 worth of cargo was unloaded and the driver released, the vehicle was set alight. O’Flaherty was also wanted in connection with the 2010 murder of Dublin holidaymaker John O’Neill in Spain.
Other recent high profile arrests include that of Mark Lilley, who was found hiding in a panic room when officers raided a luxury villa in Malaga in July. The 50th Operation Captura arrest took place in May when Andrew Moran was arrested in Spain for an aggravated robbery that took place eight years ago.
Awareness of the last ten fugitives is being highlighted across Spain in areas with a large British expatriate community such as Malaga and Alicante, which are potential hideouts for fugitives on the run from British law enforcement.
Roger Critchell, Director of Operations at Crimestoppers, said: “With the arrest of O’Flaherty we are down to the final ten remaining fugitives left on the run from our Operation Captura campaign. The success of these appeals means that they won’t be out there for long.
“The recent arrests we have seen have proven again that the cooperation between UK and Spanish law enforcement, SOCA and the public is essential in this fight against crime. It is thanks to them that we only have ten criminals left on this list."
Dave Allen, Head of the Fugitives Unit at SOCA, said: "The exceptional level of collaboration between Spanish and UK law enforcement authorities has resulted in 17 fugitives being arrested since April, including a number of Operation Captura targets, which is a remarkable result. The final ten on our list, who may well still be hiding out in Spain, should also expect to be brought before the UK courts.
“SOCA will soon become part of the new National Crime Agency, and will continue to work with the Spanish authorities to capture criminals fleeing justice.”
Crimestoppers is asking the public to join the fight against crime and to view the ten individuals featured here, then give information about anything they know.
Calls to the Spanish telephone number 900 555 111 are answered in the UK by Crimestoppers’ call agents and a translation service is available upon request. People can also pass on information anonymously via the online Giving Information form on the Crimestoppers’ website. Those in the UK should call 0800 555 111.