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EXCLUSIVE: Number of wanted EU fugitives who get detained in UK plummets

EXTRADITION: Florin Ghinea, Romania's most wanted man was arrested in Watford in August

THE amount of wanted fugitives across the EU who are caught each year has plummeted to 14 percent.

In 2009/10 nearly half of people (47%) wanted under a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) were apprehended in the UK, according to statistics from the National Crime Agency (NCA).

However, the percentage of people arrested in the UK has fallen year on year to 14 percent in 2017/18, while the number of EAWs issued has risen dramatically.

In 2009/10 there were just 3,870 EAWs issued with just over 1,829 people apprehended, but in 2017/18 there were just 2,480 arrests out of 17,256 EAWs.

Arrests this year include Florin Ghinea, 43, who was Romania's most wanted man being sought on suspicion of human trafficking, conspiracy to murder, blackmail and money laundering.

He was arrested leaving a Watford gym by NCA officers in August.

Phillip Hollobone, Tory MP for Kettering, said: “Only 14 per cent of suspected fugitives on European Arrest Warrants were apprehended in 2017, and the percentage is going down each year, so the EAW is proving ineffective in catching those criminals we need to catch.”

'INEFFECTIVE' Phillip Hollobone MP

An NCA spokesman said EAWs were issued to all Schengen countries and it did not mean that all the wanted fugitives were necessarily hiding in the UK.

He said: "The UK receives a request every time an EAW is circulated on the Schengen Information System.

"One of the main reasons for the increase in requests is that the EAW standardises extradition requests across the EU making it easier to circulate requests to many members states at once.

"Since the introduction of the EAW, the UK has extradited more than 11,000 individuals to the EU."

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