Updated 26 October: The National Crime Agency says that the sexual abuser arrested in Tenerife was Bangladeshi national Mohammed Alam (opposite), aged 33, who fled the UK before he was convicted in March 2010 and sentenced to 14 years in his absence for raping a woman in Cheltenham. Alam, who featured in the Operation Captura fugitive campaign run by the National Crime Agency and Crimestoppers, was apprehended by officers from the Spanish National Police at a restaurant where he was working in Playa de las Americas. Extradition proceedings will begin tomorrow when he appears at the Spanish National Court in Madrid.
Updated 25 October: National Police have announced that a 33-year-old man originally from Bangladesh who was on the UK’s list of most wanted fugitives has been apprehended in the Los Cristianos-Las Américas area. The man was found guilty while on the run of a sexual assault, and was living under a false ID. Extradition procedures will now be initiated to return him to the UK to face justice.
Original post 20 October: The Foreign Office has announced a new Operation Captura in collaboration with the National Crime Agency, CrimeStoppers, and the Spanish authorities. Ten more of the most wanted British fugitives believed to be hiding in Spain’s ex-pat communities have been identified and published, with photos, HERE.
Information received by Crimestoppers will help to locate the fugitives on the Operation Captura list. For people in Spain wishing to pass on information anonymously there is a dedicated freephone Spanish telephone number – 900 555 111 – which is directed to the Crimestopers’ call centre in the UK. A translation service is available on request.
In the last ten years, the multi-agency campaign has seen 76 fugitives apprehended out of 86 publicised. The current ten are wanted in connection with crimes including murder, child sexual exploitation, drug trafficking, fraud, money laundering and serious assault.
Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC, the Founder and Chair of Crimestoppers, said: “As we mark the tenth anniversary of Operation Captura, it is safe to say it has been an extremely effective way of tracking down some of the most wanted individuals who are deliberately running from justice. These people have managed to evade arrest and avoid justice. We know that with the help of Spanish authorities, along with the public in Spain and the UK, we can find these people.”
Steve Reynolds, Head of International Operations for the NCA, said: “The success of Captura demonstrates our relentless pursuit of fugitives. We never give up. 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. Seventy-six fugitives on the Captura list have been caught to date, along with many more fugitives linked to other operations. The exceptional level of collaboration and intelligence sharing we have with the Spanish authorities has been vital to these arrests. 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.”
Crimestoppers and the NCA liaise closely with the British Embassy in Madrid and with both 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. I would like to congratulate all those that have worked over the last 10 years to bring fugitives to justice.”
People in the UK can continue to contact Crimestoppers anonymously by calling the number 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org