Crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) can confirm it has achieved its 50th arrest from its Operation Captura campaign after wanted man Andrew Moran was arrested in Spain for an aggravated robbery that took place eight years ago.
Moran, 31, was convicted in his absence for his involvement in an armed cash in transit robbery that took place on the 23rd May 2005 in Colne, Lancashire, where Royal Mail guards were threatened with a handgun, machete and a baseball bat. One of the guards was assaulted before the offenders escaped with £25,000.
The trial for this offence took place on February 2nd 2009. In the judges summing up he stated that he intended to remand Moran in custody, at which point, he assaulted a security guard and vaulted over the dock. He escaped from the court and was subsequently convicted in his absence. The 31-year-old, from Salford, was arrested in Allicante on Friday May 10th.
Seven separate appeals have been made in the seven years since Operation Captura was launched, with 50 of the 65 individuals arrested by law enforcement across Europe.
Moran featured on the latest Captura appeal that launched in October 2011 when ten wanted individuals were released to the British and Spanish public in Madrid.
Lord Ashcroft, KCMG PC, Founder and Chair of Crimestoppers, said: “Andrew Moran has been on the Operation Captura list for over 18 months, so I am delighted that he has been located. “To have amassed 50 arrests from a total of 65 appeals is a remarkable achievement for Crimestoppers and our partner organisations, and I am proud that this campaign continues to go from strength-to-strength and bring wanted criminals to justice.”
Chief Executive of Crimestoppers, Michael Laurie, added: “Operation Captura has seen immense success due to the effective partnership between Crimestoppers, the Spanish police, SOCA and the public, and I hope that through this partnership, we can bring the remaining 15 accused criminals to justice. “With the support of the public in Spain, the UK and further afield, we can rid the streets of these wanted individuals, and by passing information to Crimestoppers anonymously, I can assure you that they will never know who you are.”
Matt Burton, SOCA’s Head of Investigations, said: “Moran thought he could evade capture fleeing to Spain, frequently changing his appearance and using false identities. Like his partner in crime Devalda and the other armed robbers on the hit-list discovered though, there’s no hiding place. SOCA and its partners have the capability to pursue criminals relentlessly, track them down, and put them behind bars.
Operation Captura is the successful multi-agency campaign that identifies serious criminals believed to be on the run in Spain.
For those people calling from Spain there is a special Spanish 900 555 111 telephone number which will be answered in the UK by Crimestoppers’ call agents and a translation service is available upon request. People can also pass on information anonymously via the Crimestoppers number 0800 555 111 or online.