By Tony Winterburn •
Published: 25 Jul 2020 • 12:37
A British prisoner who escaped jail and was arrested on the Costa del Sol in Spain earlier this year has been given an extra two years behind bar’s back in the UK.
Daniel Dobbs, nickname “Dobbo”, was arrested in February after police discovered a subterranean counterfeit cigarette factory in the Malaga province of southern Spain – 5 metres under a stable. Similar to the Netflix Series, Gangs of London, “Dobbo” used a shipping container as the main entrance to the counterfeit cigarette factory.
The 31-year-old from Malton in North Yorkshire was sentenced to 13-and-a-half years in prison in January 2014, after he was convicted of trafficking heroin and amphetamines. Four years later, he vanished from his cell at HMP Hatfield Lakes, a category D open prison in South Yorkshire, in November 2018.
The NCA, (National Crime Agency), tracked him down to Spain earlier this year, where he was living under a false name and he was arrested as the Spanish Civil Guard smashed an organised crime group. The underground plant, which had a full production line and could produce 3,500 counterfeit cigarettes an hour, was said to be the first of its kind found in the European Union.
International crime agency, Europol, said the facility, which had been operating since 2019, included bunk beds and living quarters for workers, who were forced to toil in dangerous and toxic conditions and were never allowed to leave on their own.
Dobbs was brought back to the UK in March to face justice and on Tuesday he was handed further jail time at Lewes Crown Court. He was sentenced to 24 months in prison for escape from lawful custody, and 12 months for improper use of an identity document and the sentences will run concurrently, the NCA said.
Alison Abbott, of the NCA’s offender lifetime management unit, said: “It is apparent that Dobbs is a harmful and persistent offender who thought he could escape the UK and avoid detection.
“But together with international partners, we tracked him down, and now he’s back behind bars where he belongs.
“The NCA pursues fugitives relentlessly. No matter where they are, nor how long it takes, we will catch up with those who flee UK justice.”
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