Liverpool

Merseyside 'most wanted' fugitive Scott Hughes arrested in Brussels

Scott Hughes Image copyright PA/Google
Image caption Scott Hughes was arrested at Brussels Airport and had been wanted by police since 2011

A suspected drugs trafficker from Merseyside has been arrested in Brussels after five years on the run.

Scott Hughes is wanted for allegedly being a member of a Liverpool-based organised crime group involved in the large-scale supply of class A drugs.

The 35-year-old, from Halewood in Knowsley, was placed on a most-wanted list in 2011 and was previously thought to be hiding in Spain.

He was arrested at Brussels Airport, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.

'Significant arrest'

He was travelling from Dubai to Belgium using a false passport and was stopped upon arrival at Brussels Airport.

Dave Allen, head of the NCA's International Crime Bureau, said it was a significant arrest because Hughes was suspected of being a "substantial player" in a crime group responsible for distributing large amounts of drugs across Merseyside.

He said Hughes "believed he could evade capture by moving from country to country using a fraudulent passport, but we were able to track him down and arrest him with the help of the Belgian authorities".

Hughes is the 75th fugitive to be found from the "most wanted" list of 86 issued five years ago through the Operation Captura initiative involving Crimestoppers, the NCA and foreign authorities.

The NCA said extradition proceedings were already underway.

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