Saturday, 26 February 2011

Police in Scotland have provided information to Crimestoppers’ top 10 most wanted list for the first time –with Scots now appearing on the latest bulletin.

The names of 10 known criminals thought to be on the run overseas will be released today as part of a joint operation between Crimestoppers, the Serious Organised Crime Agency and British police forces.

Detectives say the Operation Captura initiative has recorded a good success rate so far, with 38 arrests from 50 previous subjects and intelligence that a number of criminals are leaving Spain and fleeing to other countries including Holland.

European Arrest Warrants came into effect in 2004, making it easier to bring British criminals back into the UK’s criminal justice system. Police are hoping to trace fugitives from the Strathclyde and Edinburgh areas and said it was the first time Scottish suspects had formed such a major part of an operation.

Operation Captura V1 will be launched in Alicante in northern Spain and in Glasgow city centre when full details of the suspects will be released.

One of those on the most wanted list is Anthony Fraser, the grandson of notorious London gangster “Mad” Frankie Fraser, who is wanted in connection with a £60 million drug smuggling operation.

Frankie Fraser spent 42 of his 87 years in prison, mainly for armed robbery, after mixing with 1960s gangland figures Ronnie and Reggie Kray and Charlie and Eddie Richardson.

His grandson Anthony is thought to have been among a gang, including three pensioners, involved in flooding the UK with two tonnes of cannabis from Holland on March 17, 2009.

Five men were convicted and sentenced to almost 40 years in October 2009 for conspiracy to import controlled drugs. Up to 12 consignments, disguised as frozen chicken imports, were ferried from Holland to a bonded meat warehouse in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

Fraser is alleged to have hired a lorry to collect the class B drug concealed within a consignment of frozen chicken produce.

Police kept watch as the last £5.25m shipment was unloaded and then driven to a haulage and storage company in Grays, Essex. The drug had been divided into piles with either a green or yellow Post It note indicating which customer they should go to so a quick distribution could be carried out.

Haulage company boss Derek Mercer, 72, from London was jailed for eight years, and driver John Rowe, 71, whose convictions stretch back more than half a century, was jailed for seven years.

A third pensioner, Wattie Soutter, 69, pleaded guilty to the charge and received nine-and-a-half years.

Two others, both distributors, admitted drug smuggling.

Patrick Maloney, 56, of Southwark, South-East London, was jailed for seven years, while Russ O’Cuneff, 51, of Poplar, East London, was jailed for six years.

Anthony Fraser and a second man Neil Mulligan, were implicated in the crime from evidence found at the Essex warehouse.

Mulligan, 39, was charged on January 21 this year after being arrested in Spain in December 2010 and extradited to the UK and is now awaiting trial.

Dave Cording, Crimestoppers’ Director of Operations, said: “We started this project to tackle the growing level of criminality from British criminals, living and hiding primarily on the Costa del Sol.

“We particularly want to promote this campaign to the law-abiding British ex-pat community in Spain, who may unknowingly be living next door to a wanted criminal.”DISCLAIMER Text may be subject to copyright.This blog does not claim copyright to any such text. Copyright remains with the original copyright holder

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