Merseyside fugitive David McDermott who lost his extradition fight after being captured in Ghana has been returned to the UK.
The 42-year-old was brought back by National Crime Agency officers yesterday on a flight which landed at Heathrow Airport. He is due to appear at Liverpool Magistrates Court later today.
McDermott, who featured in the Operation Captura fugitive campaign, is suspected of being a member of a Liverpool-based organised crime group involved in a conspiracy to import and supply 400 kilos of cocaine.
The NCA investigation into the drug seizure from a container of frozen Argentinian beef at Tilbury Docks has already resulted in six people being sentenced to a total of 64 years.
The last man wanted in connection with a plot to import 400 kilos of cocaine into the United Kingdom was captured this morning in Ghana.
David McDermott, aged 42, from Ormskirk, who featured in the Operation Captura fugitive campaign, was arrested during a joint operation involving officers from the NCA and the Ghanaian Bureau of National Investigations.
McDermott is suspected of being a member of a Liverpool-based organised crime group involved in a conspiracy to import and supply cocaine which was seized from a container of frozen Argentinian beef in May 2013 at Tilbury Docks. He is also wanted for conspiracy to blackmail.
Officers detained McDermott at a house in the Burma Hills area of Accra, and extradition proceedings are due to begin next week.
McDermott’s arrest means 76 out of 86 fugitives on the Captura list have now been caught.
Dave Allen, Head of the NCA’s International Crime Bureau, said: “This arrest is a result of close working with the Ghanaian authorities, and shows our determination and success in tracking down fugitives, however far they run in an attempt to evade capture.
“McDermott was the last man outstanding in a plot to smuggle a huge quantity of cocaine which would have ended up on the streets of Merseyside. He will now be returned to the UK to stand trial.”
Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC, the founder and Chair of Crimestoppers, said: “With the tenth anniversary of Operation Captura on the horizon I still find it immensely encouraging that arrests continue to be made far and wide.
“While those featured as part of the campaign are suspected of being in Spain, the fact McDermott was picked up in Ghana is yet again evidence that no matter where fugitives are they will be found.”
The NCA investigation into the importation and supply of the cocaine found at Tilbury Docks has already resulted in six people being sentenced to a total of 64 years.
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