ONE of Britain's most wanted suspected killers Callum Halpin has been arrested in Portugal


ONE of Britain's most wanted suspected killers has been arrested in Portugal.

Callum Halpin, 27, is wanted in connection with the murder of Luke Graham, 31, a drug dealer who was shot dead in broad daylight, and the attempted murder of Anton Verigotta.

Halpin was detained on Monday at an address near Vilamoura in the Algarve by the Portuguese Judicial Police. He was located and arrested after an operation by the National Crime Agency (NCA), Portuguese police and international partners.

Dad of two Mr Graham, known as ‘Tank’, had been lured to the murder scene in Ashton-under-Lyme believing he was carrying out a drug deal.

But, three men in black balaclavas arrived on the street at around 4.50pm on June 13 2018, and he was fatally wounded, with Mr Verigotta also injured in a leg but escaped.

Two little girls in princess dresses playing nearby were caught on CCTV fleeing.

Wade Cox is currently serving a life sentence for the murder, with a minimum of 36 years behind bars, and four other men were also jailed for their role in the brutal killing in 2019.

Halpin is still wanted by Greater Manchester Police in connection with the killing.

A public appeal to help trace Halpin 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.

Halpin, of Openshaw, Manchester, was arrested on Monday on a European Arrest Warrent in connection with the murder and attempted murder LEGAL ADD: OF GRAHAM and appeared in court in Portugal today and was remanded in custody while the extradition process to get him back to the UK proceeds. He is the second fugitive from the Most Wanted campaign to be arrested in the space of 48 hours.

LEGAL ADD: SEPARATELY, Alex Male, 29, was detained at Lisbon Airport on Saturday after landing on a flight from Turkey.

Male, of Weston-super-Mare, went on the run following his arrest by the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SW ROCU) as part of Operation Venetic. He is believed to have used encrypted communications platform EncroChat to distribute class A drugs across the South West.

Steve Reynolds, National Crime Agency regional manager in Spain, said: “Callum Halpin’s arrest was made possible after some superb partnership work between the NCA and our Portuguese counterparts to whom we are extremely grateful.

“Halpin’s arrest comes only forty-eight hours after another fugitive was arrested in Portugal.

“These arrests should serve as a warning to other fugitives and most wanted subjects that we will not stop until they are captured.”

Detective Inspector Lee Barrow, of Greater Manchester Police, said: “News of Callum Halpin’s arrest is an important development in our investigation and we will work closely with the NCA and other relevant international agencies to bring him back to Greater Manchester and continue our pursuit of justice for Luke's family.

"Halpin has been on the run since Luke was fatally shot on that tragic day nearly four years ago and it has been our intention ever since to ensure all those suspected of being responsible for his death are caught and prosecuted.

“I want to thank partners from the National Crime Agency for their work in arresting Halpin and I know this will send a strong message to fugitives - and also the public - that we are totally committed to working with law enforcement agencies across the world to ensure those wanted are caught wherever they try to hide, and ultimately face the serious charges they are accused of."

Lord Ashcroft, founder and chair of the independent charity Crimestoppers, said: “Having this fugitive arrested within days of another in Portugal shows how valuable our joint Most Wanted campaign is with the NCA, in helping to find these very dangerous individuals.

“Remember, if you know the whereabouts of any others on our list, you can tell our charity what you know 24/7 online and on the phone. We guarantee you’ll stay completely anonymous.”

Since launching in January four fugitives have been arrested in operations by the NCA and international partners.