United Kingdom

One of Britain's most wanted men accused of plot to import cocaine into the UK is caught in Dubai

One of Britain's most wanted men who was on the run for eight years for his involvement in an international drug trafficking plot has been arrested in Dubai.

Michael Paul Moogan, 35, evaded international police forces for eight years using a number of false identities the National Crime Agency (NCA) revealed today.

He was featured in Operation Captura's most wanted fugitives campaign after a raid on a Dutch cafe in 2013 which was used as a front by an international drug cartel.

Operation Captura is a multi-agency operation to detain criminals wanted by UK law enforcement who are hiding abroad.

Moogan, from Liverpool, is the 86th person arrested under Operation Captura - an NCA fugitive campaign run in conjunction with Crimestoppers.

He was apprehended on April 21 this year in Dubai as a result of a joint operation between Dubai Police and the NCA.

One of Britain's most wanted men Michael Paul Moogan (pictured) has been apprehended in Dubai and will be extradited back to the UK to stand trial in connection to drug trafficking ring

Moogan had been on the run since a raid on a cafe in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, which was suspected of being used as a front for meetings between drug traffickers and cartels.

The cafe was central to a plot to bring hundreds of kilos of cocaine into the UK every week.

Working with the Dutch National Crime Squad, the NCA became aware of information that linked Moogan and two other British men to the Café de Ketel - a business not open to the public that could only be entered via a security system.

During the raid, investigators found handguns, a radio scanner, hundreds of thousands of Euros, a cash-counting machine and dozens of mobile phones.

During other raids in Rotterdam, police also seized two machine guns.

NCA officers suspected that Moogan and his associates were involved in plans to import drugs from Latin America to the EU.

At the time of the raid, only one of the men, Robert Hamilton, 71, from Manchester, could be found.

He was jailed for eight years in 2014 after pleading guilty to drug charges.

Pictured: Robert Gerrard was jailed for 14 years in 2017 for drug trafficking offences

The other man, Robert Gerard, 57, from Liverpool, handed himself in to the NCA after three years on the run claiming the pressure was too much.

He pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges and was jailed in 2017 for 14 years.

Moogan is the 86th person arrested under Operation Captura – an NCA fugitive campaign run in conjunction with Crimestoppers.

NCA officers established Moogan was using numerous false identities to avoid capture.

Dubai Police believe that after entering the UAE using a different identity, he tried to avoid CCTV in an attempt to elude detectives.

Utilising the latest capabilities, including the Criminal Data Analysis Centre, they were able to track him down.

NCA Director of Investigations Nikki Holland said: 'This arrest is the result of years of investigation involving a range of law enforcement partners in the UK, Europe and Middle East.

'We are extremely grateful to those partners for their assistance in ensuring Moogan now faces justice and particularly thank the Dubai Police for their efforts to track him down. He will be returned to the United Kingdom to face trial.

'This case should serve as a warning to others on the run from the NCA - we have a global reach, we never give up and they can never rest easy.'

NCA Director General (Operations) Steve Rodhouse added: 'The arrest of Moogan further reflects great co-operation between the Dubai Police and the NCA.

'I'd like to commend their work, in particular detectives from the General Department of Criminal Investigation in Dubai, who showed exceptional professionalism and were able to use all the techniques at their disposal to locate him and carry out this operation.'

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