WHO ARE BRITAIN’S ‘most wanted fugitives’ in Spain?
The National Crime Agency (NCA) and Crimestoppers are celebrating following the arrest of three British fugitives who have been on the run abroad in the space of a week.
The arrest of 53-year-old Robert Gerrard, who handed himself into a police station in Manchester, on suspicion of cocaine offences follows the capture of 45-year-old Matthew Sammon and Mohammed Alam, 33, who were wanted as part of Operation Captura, the operation to find British fugitives believed to be hiding in Spain’s expat communities.
Alam fled the UK after raping a woman in Cheltenham. He was convicted in March 2010 in his absence and sentenced to 14 years in prison. He was arrested in Playa de las Americas, Tenerife, after spending six years on the run.
Sammon is accused making indecent photographs of children, and possession of indecent photographs of children. He was arrested at a fairground in the Spanish town of Feungirola on 20 October, hours after being named as one of the top 10 most wanted fugitives by the NCA.
The pair’s arrest now means that 78 of the 96 fugitives suspected to be hiding in Spain have now been captured over the past 10 years as part of Operation Captura.
Gerrard, second cousin of former Liverpool footballer Steven Gerrard, was arrested as part of as part of Operation Return, the sister campaign of Captura looking into fugitives hiding in the Netherlands.
Those who are still wanted in Spain by the NCA include Jamie Acourt, a former suspect in the 1993 murder of Stephen Lawrence.
Operation Captura’s most wanted fugitives.
Name: Shane O’Brien
Description: Slim build, 6ft tall, grey eyes, short dark brown hair, London accent. Birthmark on centre of face. Tattoo on back: “Shannon 15-04-06”.
Offences: Accused of murder.
In October 2015 O’Brien was in a wine bar in Middlesex with several friends. It is alleged that he approached a man who was with his girlfriend at the bar, removed an item from his coat pocket and plunged it into the man’s neck. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. A £20,000 reward is available for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of O’Brien.
Name: Jamie Acourt
From: South London.
Description: 5ft 8ins tall, slim, athletic build, pale complexion, dark brown hair, brown eyes, sometimes wears glasses.
Offences: Accused of conspiracy to supply cannabis resin.
Acourt is believed to be a principal member of an organised crime group involved in the large-scale supply of cannabis.
Name: Jonathan Kelly
From: Glasgow – his last known address was in in Drumchapel.
Description: 5ft 11ins tall, heavy build, blue/grey eyes, short brown hair, Scottish accent, occasionally has a beard, scars to the left and right side of the face, scar to his arms and on his right hand.
Offences: Wanted on recall to prison to serve remaining sentence of nine years and 10 months for a number of serious assaults.
Kelly is extremely violent and poses a high risk to members of the public. After being convicted of several offences between 2002 and 2010, including various serious assaults, breach of the peace and having a sharply pointed implement in prison, he received sentences in excess of 16 years. In one of the most serious assaults, Kelly stabbed and paralysed his victim using a machete. He was also the subject of a sexual offences prevention order. He was released on licence in September 2013 but failed to adhere to conditions set.
Name: Steven Carruthers
From: Bury in Lancashire but last known address was in Great Langdale, Ambleside.
Description: 5ft 8ins tall, white male of medium build with short brown hair/shaved head and blue eyes. Has a northern accent.
Offences: Accused of making indecent photographs of a child contrary to the Protection of Children Act 1978.
After Carruthers was arrested, a computer recovered was analysed and found to contain 5,332 indecent images of children. The most serious of the images showed sexual abuse between adults and children. He was interviewed and denied committing any offences. He was given bail to reattend the police station but failed to answer his bail.
Name: Sarah Panitzke
From: Fulford, Yorkshire.
Description: 5ft 7ins tall, slim build with mousey straight hair and blue eyes. Has a Yorkshire accent.
Offences: Convicted of conspiracy to acquire criminal property.
Panitzke was a senior member of a crime group involved in a VAT fraud, responsible for laundering approximately £1bn ($1.2bn). She controlled the company accounts of many companies remotely via different IP addresses, travelling extensively to further the fraud to places including Dubai, Spain and Andorra. She absconded in May 2013 prior to the end of her trial and was convicted in her absence, receiving a sentence of eight years.
Name: Mark Acklom
From: Lambeth, London.
Description: 5ft 10ins tall, dark brown hair, green eyes, medium build.
Offences: Accused of fraud by false representation contrary to sections one and two of the Fraud Act 2006.
Acklom allegedly made a number of false representations after starting a romantic relationship with a woman from Bath. The victim stated that Acklom first claimed to work in the banking world in Switzerland and to be very wealthy, before then going on to claim he worked for an intelligence agency. They discussed marriage and Acklom arranged for the victim to live in one of the properties he claimed to own in Bath. Acklom stated he had cash-flow problems that were hindering renovation work, and the victim gave him numerous loans totalling £850,000. It later transpired that Acklom did not own the property. The victim never received any of her money back.
Name: Dominic McInally
Description: 5ft 10ins tall, blond hair, proportionate build.
Offences: Accused of conspiracy to supply cocaine.
McInally is the alleged leader of a drug trafficking gang that expected to bank £1.25m every month. Members of the gang travelled to the border of France and Belgium to pick up six kilos of cocaine. The package, secreted in a hidden compartment inside a Seat Leon car, was intercepted by police officers when they swooped on the gang near Crosby. McInally evaded capture. Five members of the gang have received sentences totalling 48 years.
Name: Mark Quinn
Description: 5ft 9ins tall, short brown hair, large build.
Offences: Accused of supply of amphetamine.
Quinn is suspected of being involved in an organised crime group concerned in the production, transportation and distribution of amphetamine with a street value of more than £11m.
Name: Simon McGuffie
From: Allerton, Liverpool.
Description: Scarred right arm and distinctive 2ins scar to the right cheek.
Offences: Accused of conspiracy to supply controlled drugs.
McGuffie is suspected of being a member of a Merseyside organised crime group involved in the supply of cocaine, heroin and cannabis ac
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