Fugitive drug smuggler David Mather held in Spain

David Mather David Mather was convicted in his absence

A drug smuggler who was convicted of bringing heroin into the UK last year has been arrested while on the run in Spain, the National Crime Agency said.

David Mather, 52, from Salford, Greater Manchester, was held by armed police as he drove through La Linea, close to the border with Gibraltar.

Mather was convicted in his absence in January 2013 at Sheffield Crown Court and sentenced to 18 years.

He will be extradited back to the UK to serve his sentence.

The NCA's joint operation with Spanish National Police came as part of Operation Captura Unlucky 13, a campaign to track down convicted criminals living abroad.

Hank Cole, head of international operations for the NCA, said: "Mather was using false identity documents to try and evade capture but we were able to track him down."

A freight company owned by Mather was involved in the logistics and movement of a lorry that was stopped at Humber Sea Terminal in May 2010 with 32 wrapped packages of heroin found in the bumper.

It is believed the vehicle had been used on a number of occasions to import similar amounts of drugs into the UK.

Mather's arrest means 58 out of 76 wanted individuals targeted since Operation Captura was launched have been caught, said NCA.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Manchester



8 °C 6 °C


  • photo of patient zero, two year-old Emile OuamounoPatient zero

    Tracking first Ebola victim and and how virus spread

  • A young Chinese girl looks at an image of BarbieBarbie's battle

    Can the doll make it in China at the second attempt?

  • Prosperi in the 1994 MdSLost in the desert

    How I drank bat blood and urine to survive in the Sahara

  • Afghan interpetersBlacklisted

    The Afghan interpreters left by the US to the mercy of the Taliban

  • Flooded homesNo respite

    Many hit by last winter's floods are struggling to pay soaring insurance bills

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.