Paul Duckenfield murder probe found Czech 'crime network'

Paul Duckenfield Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Police believe Paul Duckenfield was involved in the supply of performance-enhancing anabolic steroids and growth hormones

An investigation into the murder of a father-of-two in Essex 10 years ago uncovered an international drug network, police have said.

Paul Duckenfield was last seen on 15 September 2008 in Great Saling, and police believe his disappearance is linked to anabolic steroid dealing.

A number of people were convicted through a parallel police probe with the Czech Republic sparked by his case.

But no-one has ever been charged over Mr Duckenfield's disappearance.

During the investigation police uncovered information about anabolic steroid dealing which led to them working with the Czech authorities, ending in a number of prosecutions and seizures under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Police have arrested nine people in connection with Mr Duckenfield's case, on suspicion of offences including murder, perverting the course of justice and firearms breaches.

Det Ch Insp Martin Pasmore renewed an appeal for information and said that, a decade on, "loyalties will have changed and people may now feel able to come forward".

Mr Duckenfield, originally from Derbyshire, arrived at London Stansted Airport on an EasyJet flight from Faro, Portugal, where he lived with his family, at about 14:00 BST on Monday, 15 September 2008, according to police.

Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Paul Duckenfield's family still "have no answers", police said

He was collected at the airport by a business partner and the last independent sighting of him was that evening at the Palm Trees restaurant in Great Saling, near Braintree.

Despite a body never being found, detectives believe Mr Duckenfield, who was well known in the gym scene in the West Midlands, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, was murdered in the Essex area on or around 16 September.

Det Ch Insp Pasmore said that more than 800 statements were taken and more than 2,600 lines of inquiry followed.

He added that detectives also travelled to Portugal to meet his wife and "understand more about his life and determine who may have wished him harm and why".

"The last 10 years has been, understandably, hugely difficult for Paul's family," Det Ch Insp Pasmore said.

"His wife, two children, parents and wider family still have no answers as to what happened to their loved one.

"They continue to want those answers and we remain committed to finding out what happened to Paul, finding his remains and bringing those responsible to justice."

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