Christopher Mealey arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking in Marbella

A suspected drug trafficker, who was featured in a campaign to trace criminals in hiding, has been arrested in Spain.

Christopher Mealey, from London, was held by armed police as he walked on a beachfront in Marbella on Monday.

The 38-year-old was wanted in connection with importing cocaine worth millions of pounds into the UK.

He was held following a joint operation by the National Crime Agency (NCA), Spanish Police and the Met Police.

Operation Captura

Mr Mealey appeared at the Spanish National Court in Madrid on Wednesday and extradition proceedings are underway to return him to the UK, the NCA said.

He is the 60th fugitive to be arrested out of 76 featured in Operation Captura, which aimed to catch Britain's' most wanted criminals.

His father-in-law John Reed and six others have already received prison sentences totalling more than 130 years in connection with the drug smuggling investigation, the agency said.

Hank Cole, head of international operations for the NCA, said: "Mealey thought he could evade capture by fleeing to Spain and using false identity documents but we were able to track him down.

"It demonstrates the NCA and its partners have the capability to pursue fugitives relentlessly."

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