Suffolk fugitive still on the run

A SUFFOLK man is on the run today for a second time after being arrested on suspicion of involvement in an international drug smuggling ring.

Colin Adwent

A SUFFOLK man is on the run today for a second time after being arrested on suspicion of involvement in an international drug smuggling ring.

Neil Davison, also known as Richard Neil Davison, was taken into custody almost five years ago when Spanish customs officers swooped as part of a large-scale operation with their Suffolk counterparts.

The bid to smash the multi-million pound drugs racket netted 16 other suspects in Malaga, Nerja and Estepona, who were alleged to be involved in the trafficking operation.

Around 70 Spanish officers carried out the raids aimed at preventing drugs being smuggled from north Africa to Spain.

However, despite his arrest in March 2004 Davison, who ran a boat-building company in Lowestoft, has yet to stand trial.

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After being released pending further inquiries, Davison skipped bail during the intervening years. He was apprehended again last year after a warrant was put out for his arrest.

Despite fleeing once before, Davison was granted bail and went on the run again. A year on he is still a fugitive.

Davison, formerly of Colville Road, Lowestoft, was originally arrested as he came out of his flat overlooking the beach at Estepona on the Costa del Sol.

At the same time his home in Lowestoft was raided by Suffolk customs officers and separate amounts of cash totalling �1million were seized at the premises. Several boats at Davison's company were also seized and impounded.

Davison had settled in the Costa Del Sol several years before. The flat he was in at the time of his arrest was believed to be one of at least 10 he had in eastern Spain.

At first Davison was remanded in jail following his arrest and held in a prison near Malaga. However, he was subsequently released on bail, from which he absconded for the first time.

A spokeswoman for HM Customs and Revenue confirmed Davison had not returned to answer his bail on two separate occasions.

She said: "Neil Davison is currently at large having been arrested on a European arrest warrant in February 2008. He was granted bail from which he has absconded."

Over the years the nature of drug trafficking between Spain and Morocco, known as the 'hashish gateway' changed, leading to different types of high-speed boats being used to outrun the authorities.

Davison's boat-building firm produced powerful semi-rigid hull inflatable boats, known as RHIBS.

In just over a year before his arrest around 100 such boats, worth an average of 60,000 Euros, are believed to have been seized in southern Spain.