UK's most-wanted criminals hiding in Spain named

Pictures of Michael McCartney (left), Brian Thexton and Robert Mortby
Image caption Among the men named by British police in Spain were Michael McCartney (left), Brian Thexton and Robert Mortby

Thirteen of Britain's most-wanted criminals, thought to be on the run in Spain, have been named by the National Crime Agency.

The list has been released as part of Operation Captura aimed at tracing criminals who are in hiding.

One of the 13, paedophile Michael McCartney, 78, from Letchworth, Hertfordshire, was detained in Alicante hours after the appeal.

The NCA said "Spain is not a safe haven".

This is the eighth appeal since Captura was launched in 2006, and so far 53 out of 63 named suspects have been caught.

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Media captionBritish fugitive Andrew Moran was captured as he sat by a pool in Benidorm earlier this year

'Unlucky 13'

Charity Crimestoppers said it was targeting wanted British citizens in Spain.

An NCA spokesman said McCartney, who was convicted of abusing three boys, was arrested at about 16:30 local time and is now due to appear before a Spanish court to face extradition proceedings.

He was found guilty in March 2013 but failed to attend court the following month to be sentenced.

Among the others in the group, dubbed the "unlucky 13" by Crimestoppers, is Robert Mortby, 26, from London, suspected of attempted murder over an attack on a man in Elephant and Castle.

He is suspected of being one of two men who attacked and shot a man in July last year.

Brian Thexton, 37, from Durham, is accused of being part of gang of robbers and is also awaiting trial for conspiracy to supply cocaine.

In one of the robberies the gang impersonated police officers to dupe the victims into opening the door, before brandishing a pick axe handle and a baseball bat.

All thirteen men are subject to a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) which would enable Spanish authorities to detain them and then extradite them to the UK.

Since 2009, a total of 277 British nationals have been surrendered to the UK by European police forces using EAWs.

Image caption Daniel Bowes, 43, from London, is wanted on suspicion of conspiracy to supply cocaine.
Image caption Stephen Blundell, 35, from Liverpool, is a convicted heroin dealer who went on the run when bailed pending sentencing.
Image caption Daniel Dugic, 32, from Serbia, allegedly plotted to bring 225kg of cocaine into the UK.
Image caption David Hewson, 31, from Liverpool, was jailed for 11 years in his absence for being part of a drug dealing gang.
Image caption Robert Knight, 52, from Walsall, allegedly helped arrange for 6kg of cocaine to be smuggled to London Heathrow.
Image caption David Mather, 57, from Manchester, was convicted of conspiracy to import heroin but went on the run before sentencing.
Image caption Michael McCartney, 78, from Hertfordshire, was found guilty of nine counts of indecent assault but failed to attend court for sentencing.
Image caption Christopher Mealey, 37, from London, is accused of being a member of the same drug smuggling gang as Daniel Bowes.
Image caption Robert Mortby, 26, from London, is one of two men suspected of attempted murder after a man in south London was attacked with a bottle and shot.
Image caption Ian Stanton, 42, from Liverpool, is suspected of attempting to smuggle 400kg of cocaine into the UK hidden in a cargo of Argentine beef.
Image caption Brian Thexton, 37, from Durham, is accused of being involved in robberies in which victims were forced to hand over alarm codes. He is also awaiting trial on drug charges.
Image caption Keith Turner, 60, from Northumbria - seen here aged 46 - was arrested in 2000 for suspected embezzlement after being released on licence for manslaughter.
Image caption Lee Willis, 30, from Greater Manchester admitted possessing cocaine and cannabis and was facing a charge of dealing before he went on the run.

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