Friday, May 24, 2024

Man wanted for drug offenses in Spain

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A fugitive wanted for attempting to import £100,000 of cannabis into the UK has been found in Spain.

Jesus Benito Fernández-Asta, 55, was detained by Spanish authorities in Almeria on Thursday after failing to appear in Luis Crown Court in July.

Fernández Asta was charged with conspiring to import class B medicines, being involved in the supply of class A and B medicines and money laundering.

He was arrested in August 2021 at an address in Donald Hall Road, Brighton.

According to the National Crime Agency (NCA), there was an attempt to import cannabis into the UK from Spain.

In November 2020, blocks of resin were discovered inside a truck’s pallet locker by Border Force personnel conducting a cargo inspection at the Channel Tunnel terminal in Coquelles, northern France.

Handover procedure

A warrant for Mr Fernandez-Asta’s arrest was issued after he failed to appear at Lewes Crown Court in July.

The Spanish National Police, on behalf of the NCA, tracked down Mr. Fernández Asta at a residential address in the city of Almería in southeastern Spain.

Mr. Fernández-Asta has begun extradition proceedings and is expected to appear in court in the future.

NCA senior investigator Dean Wallbank said he was “delighted” to have tracked down Fernández Asta and was “thankful” to the Spanish authorities.

“No matter where these fugitives choose to hide, we have the determination and ability to hunt them down and bring them to justice,” Wallbank said.

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