LAW enforcement teams are bringing their search for Britain’s most-wanted men direct to the Costas. Crimestoppers and the National Crime Agency (NCA) are touring expat hotspots with a huge digital screen, displaying the mugshots of 18 people still being hunted by Operation Captura.
Captura has so far collared 68 of 86 fugitives, wanted in connection with crimes including murder, rape, indecent assault of a child and drug trafficking. In a push to bring in the last remaining targets, the agencies say they are heading to their suspects’ “back yards.”
The operation’s 13-foot-high mugshot screen will be touring areas including Malaga, Puerto Banus and Benidorm, parking up outside nightclubs and bars, British supermarkets and restaurants.
Steve Reynolds, NCA Deputy Director, said: “By taking our campaign directly into Spanish communities where we believe they are living and socialising, their lives will become even more uncomfortable. We want British expats and locals to help us by being extra eyes and ears and telling us what they know.
“These fugitives are wanted for serious crimes. Anyone who is helping them stay on the run, such as girlfriends, wives, family members back home, or criminal associates, should know that assisting them is an offence too.”
Director of operations for Crimestoppers, Roger Critchell, said that this new tactic for Captura, which is a multi-agency operation including Spanish law enforcement, would leave those on the run with nowhere to hide: “There will be no avoiding the faces on this screen – they’ll be broadcast in all the popular ex-pat areas.
“I would urge anyone who recognises any of those faces to contact Crimestoppers anonymously. We don’t take personal details and you won’t have to give a statement or go to court.
“Many of these fugitives are currently living a life of leisure funded by serious crime. They cannot be allowed to hide forever, they must be brought to justice. Do the right thing and help us find them.”
The 18 remaining men on the run from Operation Captura can be viewed at www.crimestoppers-uk.org/opcaptura
Expats can contact Crimestoppers on a freephone Spanish number which will be answered in the UK: 900 555 111. People can also pass on information anonymously via the Crimestoppers number 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org