Ten ‘most wanted’ hiding in Spain revealed

Ten more of the most wanted British fugitives believed to be hiding in Spain’s ex-pat communities have been revealed in a new appeal by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the independent UK crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers.

The ten are wanted by law enforcement agencies in connection with crimes including murder, child sexual exploitation, drug trafficking, fraud, money laundering and serious assault.

Steve Reynolds, Head of International Operations for the NCA, said: “Many of them use Spain as a base to continue illegal activities which still have an impact on the UK, but it is not a safe haven.”

Mr Reynolds praised the “exceptional level of collaboration and intelligence-sharing we have with the Spanish authorities” saying this had been vital to a number of arrests over the last 10 years of Operation Captura which aims to track down criminals hiding in Spain.

“The fugitives we are hunting are wanted for serious crimes and must be returned to the UK to face justice.

“We need the support of the public to help us catch them. Be our eyes and ears and tell us if you have any information on the whereabouts of our targets.”

Operation Captura has seen 76 fugitives captured out of the 86 publicised in the link-up between British and Spanish law enforcement agencies.

Simon Manley, British Ambassador to Spain, said: “Captura is one of the best examples of the fantastic collaboration between Spanish and British law enforcement. Our objective is for this collaboration to continue and strengthen in the coming years.”

The ten are: Stephen Carruthers, indecency offences: Shane O’Brien, wanted on suspicion of murder: Sarah Panitzke, suspected of money laundering: Simon McGuffie, drugs offences: Matthew Sammon, indecent images offences: Jonathon Kelly, recall to prison for violence offences: Jamie Acourt, conspiracy to supply drugs: Dominic McInally, conspiracy to supply cocaine: Mark Acklom, fraud and Mark Quinn, wanted on suspicion of supplying drugs in an organised crime group.

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