ENCROCHAT ARREST: One of UK's most wanted nabbed as he rode e-bike in Marbella
ONE of the UK's most wanted men was nabbed in Marbella as he rode an electric bike, it has been revealed.
Alleged drugs and firearms supplier Dean Garforth, 29, (above) was on the e-bike on a street in Nueva Andalucia, Marbella, Spain, when he spotted undercover officers and rode into one as he tried to evade capture.
He was arrested on Monday afternoon in a pre-planned law enforcement operation, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.
An NCA spokesman said: "When he realised plain-clothed officers were closing in, Garforth, who was wearing sports clothes, sunglasses and a cap, rode the bike into an officer and resisted arrest.
"He was located and arrested after an operation by the NCA, Spanish National Police and Cheshire Police."
A public appeal to help trace Garforth was made in January this year when the NCA and Crimestoppers launched a new Most Wanted campaign featuring 12 fugitives who were believed to be hiding in Spain.
He is wanted by Cheshire Police for alleged involvement in a well-established organised Crime Group (OCG), supplying significant quantities of cocaine and cannabis, and being involved in trading firearms and ammunition between March 2020 and July 2020.
It is alleged he used the now defunct encrypted comms platform EncroChat to facilitate these offences in and around the North West of England and that his OCG also adulterated the drugs before moving them on.
Garforth, whose last known address was South Hill Road, Dingle, Liverpool, is the sixth fugitive from the list to be arrested since the Most Wanted campaign was launched in January.
He is in custody awaiting the beginning of extradition proceedings.
Steve Reynolds, NCA regional manager in Spain, said: “Dean Garforth’s arrest was made possible after some great work by the Spanish National Police, supported by the NCA’s international liaison officers and Cheshire Police.
“Garforth is the sixth fugitive to be arrested from the Most Wanted list. We won’t stop until the remainder are caught.”
Detective Chief Inspector Ian Murray from Cheshire Constabulary’s Major Crime Directorate said: “This latest arrest shows how by working together, there are no borders and no safe places to hide. We will continue to work together to keep bringing those suspected of committing serious and organised crime before the courts.”
Lord Ashcroft, Founder and Chair of the charity Crimestoppers, said: “Most Wanted has proven to be incredibly successful as it publicises those individuals who are on the run and encourages the public to contact us anonymously if they know of their whereabouts.
“I’m delighted that another fugitive has been caught and I appeal to anyone else who has information about an individual who remains on our list to tell our charity what they know completely anonymously. Call 0800 555 111 or fill in our anonymous online form at Crimestoppers-uk.org. You’ll be doing the right thing and will be helping to keep communities safe.”