Manchester criminal who fled to Amsterdam jailed

Sean Devalda
Image caption Sean Devalda was found in February during a raid on a house in Amsterdam

A man who fled the country for four years after an attempted armed robbery in Greater Manchester has been jailed for six years.

Sean Devalda, now 25, of Cheetham Hill, admitted conspiracy to rob and carrying a firearm with intent to commit an offence at Manchester Crown Court on Tuesday.

He was part of a gang planning to rob a Group 4 cash-in-transit van in 2007.

He was arrested during a police raid on a house in Amsterdam.

Devalda was then extradited from the Netherlands under a European arrest warrant in February.

The robbery was abandoned when the group realised police were following them, a police spokesman said.

Officers discovered a balaclava, a pistol and seven rounds of ammunition dumped in a bin by the gang.

Two men were arrested but Devalda and another man fled.

His three accomplices were jailed for conspiracy to rob and possession of a firearm at Leeds Crown Court in March 2008, police said.

Amsterdam Police worked with the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) to arrest him four years later.

The operation involved a team of armed officers, a helicopter and police divers.

A firearm, £50,000 in cash and a number of expensive watches were recovered during the raid.

Det Insp Aaron Duggan, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "This case proved we will stop at nothing to bring criminals to justice."

Ch Supt Kevin Mulligan, of the Salford division, added: "We have been working hard to tackle organised crime in the city and make it a safer place for local residents.

"I hope the Salford community will be reassured that we are leaving no stone unturned in our continued efforts to track down fugitives on the run."

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