Police in the northern port city of Thessaloniki on Monday announced the arrest of a 39-year-old man wanted in his native Britain for his alleged involvement in an international cocaine trafficking ring. Simon Dutton, who was arrested in a hotel on a European arrest warrant, was among Britain’s top 10 fugitives, authorities announced.
The suspect is believed to be part of an international ring smuggling cocaine from Spain to mainly Manchester. In 2009, Manchester Police and the UK’s Serious Organized Crime Agency arrested 17 people, who were collectively sentenced to 170 years behind bars, after authorities seized large quantities of cocaine whose street value was estimated at 1.6 million pounds at the time.
Greek authorities said that Dutton, who according to official documents had used 98 forged identity cards to avoid arrest, presented a fake Bulgarian passport to Greek police officers at the time he was detained.
The suspect is expected to be held in Greece pending a local court decision on whether or not he should face extradition to Britain.