Paul Monk, one of UK’s most wanted after a Colchester drugs bust, arrested in Spain

Photo issued by the National Crime Agency of fugitive Paul Monk, who featured on the UK's most wante

Photo issued by the National Crime Agency of fugitive Paul Monk, who featured on the UK's most wanted list on suspicion of drug trafficking, who has been captured in Alicante. - Credit: PA

A fugitive on the UK’s most wanted list allegedly linked to a Colchester drugs haul has been arrested in Spain.

Paul Monk was captured at his luxury villa in the holiday hotspot of Alicante on the Costa Blanca.

He was arrested as part of Operation Captura, a drive launched in 2006 by the National Crime Agency (NCA), Crimestoppers and Spanish authorities to catch suspects who had fled from the UK.

Monk, 54, was overseeing workmen laying a marble patio around his swimming pool when armed police swooped at the address where an imitation firearm with silencer and 125,000 euro were recovered.

The Romford man is wanted on suspicion of conspiracy to supply cocaine and conspiracy to supply cannabis.

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He was allegedly involved in the handover of a kilo of cocaine in Cockfosters, north London, in May 2013.

He is also linked to the seizure of 23 kilos of herbal cannabis and one kilo of cannabis resin in October 2013 in Colchester.

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Monk, along with a second fugitive on the list arrested within 24 hours of him in the Netherlands, are wanted by the Metropolitan Police on suspicion of drugs offences and are currently in custody awaiting extradition proceedings.

Dave Allen, head of the UK International Crime Bureau at the NCA, said: “Our ability to capture two of our most wanted fugitives in different countries within 24 hours demonstrates the NCA’s international reach.

“Nowhere is a safe haven for British fugitives and we will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners across the world to track them down and return them to the UK to face justice.”

The arrests come less than a month after an appeal for information about the men’s whereabouts.

A total of 68 out of 86 fugitives on the Operation Captura list have now been caught.

Lord Ashcroft, the founder and chairman of Crimestoppers, added: “This should be a warning to the remaining individuals on the Captura list that they cannot hide forever. If the public continue to contact Crimestoppers and give information anonymously, I am confident we will see more arrests in the future.”

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