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One of Britain’s most-wanted men, 32, arrested in Bulgaria

‘Cocaine queen’ and one of Britain’s most wanted men, 32, has been arrested in Bulgaria ‘with a false passport’

  • Benjamin Macann, 32, was arrested Monday at a hotel in Plovdiv, Bulgaria
  • He is wanted in homeland of Norfolk for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs
  • Police say Macann used encrypted cell phones to sell several kilograms of cocaine
  • Macann thought he was hiding in Barcelona, ​​​​but was followed to Eastern Europe

An alleged cocaine boss who was one of Britain’s most wanted men has been arrested in Bulgaria.

Benjamin Macann, 32, was arrested Monday at a hotel in the city of Plovdiv while carrying a fake passport and a real passport in someone else’s name.

Macann, originally from Norfolk, is wanted by local police and charged with conspiracy to deliver several kilograms of cocaine by 2020 using encrypted cell phones.

Benjamin Macann, 32, is wanted by police in his home country of Norfolk for conspiracy to deliver several kilograms of cocaine using encrypted cell phones

Benjamin Macann, 32, is wanted by police in his home country of Norfolk for conspiracy to deliver several kilograms of cocaine using encrypted cell phones

The Briton was thought to be hiding in Spain and had connections to Barcelona, ​​but was traced to Bulgaria after a joint operation by the UK’s National Crime Agency, Bulgarian police and Spain’s Civil Guard.

He is now in custody in Bulgaria, where he awaits his extradition to the UK following the tip of an elite Spanish anti-refugee unit that led to his arrest.

The maximum penalty for delivering Class A drugs is life imprisonment.

Macann was identified as one of Britain’s most wanted names on a list of names published by Crimestoppers in January.

Well-placed Spanish sources today revealed that he had been holed up in southern Spain when the appeal was filed and fled a month later.

Five of the 12 people – all men – on the list have since been arrested.

The officers who discovered Macann was in Bulgaria were also involved in the February arrest of fraudster Sarah Panitzke in a small Catalan village where she had spent most of her nine years on the run.

They also captured Irish fugitive gang boss Gerry “The Monk” Hutch last August near his hideout in the coastal town of Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.

University graduate Panitzke was flown back to the UK late last week to hand out an eight-year prison sentence for a multimillion-pound VAT fraud.

A Spanish police insider said: ‘After Macann was named on appeal in January, information started coming in and he was located in a flat in Marbella and then in another property in another municipality in the province of Malaga.

The problem was that he managed to stay one step ahead of the police and was gone by the time the information came in and officers were sent to check it.

Macann was supposed to hide in Barcelona but was followed to the town of Plovdiv, in southern Bulgaria, where he was arrested on Monday.

Macann was supposed to hide in Barcelona but was followed to the town of Plovdiv, in southern Bulgaria, where he was arrested on Monday.

“Then it was discovered that he had fled the country with a false passport, in the month of February, to an unknown destination.

“With hard work it was established that he was in Bulgaria and that information was passed on to the police there so they could work on it.”

Steve Reynolds, NCA Regional Manager in Spain, said: “Benjamin Macann’s arrest was made possible after a great job by our International Liaison Officers, the Guardia Civil Fugitive Team, the Bulgarian Police and our colleagues in the Bulgarian Directorate for International Cooperation, for which we be very grateful. †

Macann is the fifth fugitive arrested on the Most Wanted list. We won’t stop until everyone else is caught.’

Detective Sergeant Eddie Hammond of the Norfolk and Suffolk Serious Organized Crime Unit said: ‘We continue to work with partners and law enforcement agencies around the world to locate our most wanted persons.

“We want to thank them all for their continued determination and painstaking hard work as they continue to disrupt criminal networks around the world, meaning there’s nowhere safe to hide.”

Lord Ashcroft, founder and chairman of the charity Crimestoppers, said: “Our charity is here to help people speak up anonymously if they know anything about crime, including providing the whereabouts of fugitives wanted by law enforcement officers at home and abroad.

“It’s incredibly encouraging to hear that another fugitive has been captured, demonstrating the success of our joint Most Wanted campaign with the NCA.

“I urge anyone with information about any of the individuals on our list to call our charity anonymously or contact us through our website crimestoppers-uk.org.

“Your information can make all the difference.”

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