Two suspected drug traffickers who featured in the Operation Captura fugitive campaign have been arrested in the space of 24 hours.
Paul Monk, aged 54, from Romford, Essex was captured on Tuesday morning at his luxury four bedroom villa in Javea, Alicante, following an operation involving the Guardia Civil and the National Crime Agency.
When armed officers swooped Monk was directing workmen that were laying a marble patio around his swimming pool. An imitation firearm with silencer and 125,000 Euros were recovered.
On Wednesday morning Jayson McDonald, aged 37, from Acton, was apprehended as part of a separate joint investigation with the Dutch authorities. Officers found McDonald hiding under a bed at an apartment in Amsterdam.
McDonald had been hiding in Spain but it is believed he based himself in the Netherlands after officers raided a property where he was living in the Coín area of Malaga.
Both men 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.”
Monk was allegedly involved in the handover of one kilo of cocaine in Cockfosters, London, in May 2013, and is also linked to the seizure of 24 kilos of cannabis in Colchester in October 2013.
McDonald is believed to be a member of a Europe-wide organised crime network responsible for the importation of class A drugs into the UK.
The arrests are less than a month after the men were publicised through Operation Captura – the multi-agency initiative between Crimestoppers, the NCA and the Spanish authorites. A total of 68 out of 86 fugitives on the list have now been caught.
Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC, the Founder and Chair of Crimestoppers, said: “It is a fantastic result to have three arrests within the first month of the latest appeal. It really is a testament to the hard work carried out by the NCA, Spanish authorities and Crimestoppers to ensure these fugitives are brought to justice.
“This should be a warning to the remaining 18 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.”
Information given to Crimestoppers can help locate the fugitives on the Captura list. For those people calling from Spain there is a special freephone Spanish 900 555 111 telephone number which will be answered in the UK by Crimestoppers’ call agents. A translation service is available upon request. People can also pass on information anonymously via the Crimestoppers number 0800 555 111 or online at