Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Most Wanted Costa Criminals

The Costa del Sol is becoming once again a haven for British fugitives suspected of murder, armed robbery, drug smuggling and sexual offenses.

Crimestoppers has today issued the photographs and details of 10 men who are on the run from British justice.
Operation Captura is a joint project by Crimestoppers, SOCA and the Spanish authorities launched in October 2006.
Eight fugitives have been brought to justice from a total of twenty such appeals appearing on Crimestoppers' ‘Most Wanted' website since the launch. SOCA coordinates the appeals on behalf of British law enforcement and then processes the European Arrest Warrants to bring the fugitives back to the UK.

Five arrests have been made from the first batch of ten appeals issued in October 2006.
Dave Cording, Director of Operations, Crimestoppers, said:

“The success of Operation Captura speaks for itself. Once the photograph of the criminal is posted on our website they have nowhere to hide. We are delighted to be working with SOCA on this campaign which is halting some very serious criminal activity.
You can help expose the perpetrators behind this activity, in Spain and the UK, by calling us anonymously from Spain on 900 555 111. If you are calling from within the UK telephone 0800 555 111. Your call will not be traced or recorded so tell us what you know, not who you are. Our service has been helping to find criminals and solve crime for twenty years. It's a system that works for everyone except criminals.”
Bill Hughes, Director General of SOCA, added:
“British crooks who thought they could enjoy a ‘yachts and villas' lifestyle in Spain have received a nasty shock. Many of them are now experiencing a rather different lifestyle at Her Majesty's pleasure.

“SOCA has worked with Crimestoppers and the Spanish to bring these criminals to justice but we couldn't have done it without the help of the public. I'd like to thank all of the brave individuals who have provided vital information. Now we need your help again. Please study the ten new appeals closely and if you have any information at all please call Crimestoppers anonymously straight away. They are waiting for your call.”
Operation Captura identifies serious criminals wanted by UK law enforcement agencies for crimes committed in the UK. Crimestoppers and SOCA work closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff in Madrid, British and Spanish law enforcement. The campaign highlights appeals for information on criminals who have European arrest warrants issued for them for crimes such as drug trafficking, murder and currency counterfeiting. Information given to Crimestoppers can help locate these criminals so that arrests can be carried out.
Police hope ex-pats or holidaymakers might recognise the wanted men in bars, golf clubs or supermarkets.

The ten new appeals for information include offenses ranging from murder to major drug trafficking operations.
Some of the runaways are thought to be involved in more criminality in Spain, where drug trafficking, particularly cannabis, is huge business.

The suspects being hunted are:

James Walter TOMKINS

Aged 58 (place of birth: London) – Metropolitan Police Service

Offences: It is alleged that Tomkins murdered Rocky DAWSON in Hornchurch, Essex on 2 May 2006. He is also wanted for the possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

There is a £20,000 reward for information leading to Tomkins' arrest.

Description: M1.73 tall, medium to stocky build, scar close to left eye, scar on brow, scar on right side of neck, sometimes wears a close cut beard. Has links to Marbella, Fuengirola, Porto Banus and Benidorm.

Aliases and nicknames: Raymond John FARMER, O'FLYNN, “Jimbles”

David Alfred ANDREWS

Aged 66 (place of birth: Radlett, Herts - HMRC)

Offences: Accused of being the principal figure of a drug-trafficking organisation that between 2000 and 2003 conspired to import commercial quantities of cocaine into the UK from South America through the use of corrupt Heathrow Airport employees.

Description: 5'11” tall, grey collar length hair, large build, clean shaven.

Jason Richard GULLIFORD

Aged 36 (place of birth: Lincoln – Nottinghamshire Police)

Offences: On 30 April 2003 it is alleged that Gulliford stabbed Neil James Dodd with a screwdriver over a suspected drugs debt – wounding with intent contrary to Section 18 Offenses Against the Person Act 1861 – life imprisonment.

Aliases and nicknames: John ANDREWS; Jason Culver PRICE

Description: 6' x 3” tall (m: 191), heavy build, dark brown hair, tattoo on right arm of a black panther, tattoo on left shoulder of a black panther


Aged 46 (place of birth: London) Metropolitan Police

Offences: Conspiracy to rob, conspiracy to steal, having an offensive weapon, handling stolen goods, escape, wounding/inflicting grievous bodily harm, wounding/inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent, possessing firearm with intent.

Description: M1.78 tall, white European appearance, blue eyes

Daniel Paul JOHNSTON

Aged 27 (place of birth: Burton on Trent) – Derbyshire Constabulary

Offences: Between September 2004 and January 2006 Johnston is wanted for carrying two robberies, one attempted robbery and one theft in licensed stores in Derbyshire, usually armed with a knife.

Description: White male, M175 tall, medium build, blue eyes, short mousey hair, tattoo on left arm of a Celtic band, tattoo on left arm of a tribal band, tattoo of letters ‘KAINE' in Celtic writing on abdomen. Johnston is believed to have links in the Malaga region.

Allan James FOSTER

Aged 31 (place of birth: South Shields)- Northumbria Police

Offences: It is alleged that Foster murdered David “Noddy” Rice in Marsden Bay Car Park, South Shields on 24 May 2006. Foster is also wanted for two offences of conspiring to supply controlled drugs and also for the theft of a diamond ring.

Description: White European male of mixed race, 5' x 8” tall, slim build, brown eyes, short black hair, no distinctive marks known. Has links to Canary Islands and Majorca.


Aged 33 (place of birth: Liverpool) Grampian Police

Offences: In 2003 in Aberdeen, Coleman was arrested and charged with possession with intent to supply 2.87 kg of heroin.

Description: 6' x 2” tall, medium build, short brown hair, blue eyes, tattoo of bulldog tattooed on centre of back, Liverpool FC crest tattooed on right leg, lips tattooed on buttocks. Has links to Benidorm.

Keith Brian BURKE

Aged 47 (place of birth: Halifax) South Yorkshire Police

Offences: Burke was involved in a violent assault that took place in the toilets of “The Top Club” bar in Edlington, Doncaster on 8 July 2001. He was convicted and sentenced to three years imprisonment for affray.

Description: M173 tall, blue eyes, bald head, dark brown goatee beard, tattoo on right neck of a devil, tattoo on left side of neck of a swallow.

Nicknames: Tattooed Keith


Aged 52 (place of birth: Mansfield) - HMRC

Offences: Barton was sentences to 20 years imprisonment in 2003 after being convicted, in his absence, in relation to an offence of conspiring to import a commercial amount of heroin into the UK between 1999 and 2000.

Description: White male, 5'8” tall, medium build, receding dyed brown hair, natural grey colour, Midlands accent

John Cearney BARKER

Aged 50 (place of birth: Irvine, Ayrshire) - Strathclyde Police

Offences: Barker is wanted under two European Arrest Warrants for trafficking in cocaine and amphetamine to the value of over £110,000 in 1998 and 1999 within Scotland.

Description: 5'11” tall, stocky build, fair hair, blue eyes with a squint to the right eye. Has links with Tenerife.

Aliases and nicknames: John Cairney BARKER; John Clearney BARKER, “Jock”

After Amy Fitzpatrick, the 15 year old Irish girl from Mijas, vanished on 1st January, the Guardia Civil has pointed out that there are known criminals wanted for sexual offenses living in the Costa del Sol and that they are being covered up by circles of their fiends.
However, Chief Inspector Alfredo Marijuan, of Malaga police, commented:
"British people like to help the police.
But it's difficult to spot these men because they change their identity and they often have support and protection from their friends. They rarely move outside their own group."
But it has worked in the past.
When Crimestoppers published the pictures of the first 10 suspects, the following 5 were arrested within a year:

James HURLEY – convicted killer of a police-man who escaped custody in 1994. He was circulated in the crimestoppers release in Spain and was eventually arrested last year in The Netherlands for drug offences. (Herts – Metropolitan Police Service)

Ian WHITE – tobacco smuggler who masterminded a £6million VAT scam, arrested in Spain. He was tried, convicted and sentenced to six years imprisonment in his absence on the 11th March 2004. He was also ordered to pay confiscation in the sum of £6,151,841.19 or serve ten years imprisonment in default. He was returned to the UK on the 20th September 2007 and appeared before Maidstone Crown Court on the 21st September 2007. From there he was sent to prison to start serving his sentence. (Essex - HMRC)

Anthony SIMMONDS – wanted for importing large quantities of cannabis from Spain and cheating VAT of £4million. Arrested in Spain in December 2006. He was returned to the UK 3 Jan 2007. He was produced at Maidstone Crown Court on 4 Jan 2007 and his sentence of 3 years imprisonment was confirmed. He was given a 3 month imprisonment in respect of the absconding, which is to be served consecutively. He was sent to prison to start serving his sentence. (Birmingham - HMRC)

Clifford HOBBS – escaped in custody on his way to court in London where he was to stand trial for the theft of £1.25million from a security van. Arrested in Spain and returned to the UK in August 2007. Trial commenced.

Dante LATRECHE – wanted for credit card fraud. Arrested in UK in 2007. Received suspended prison sentence. (Luton – Metropolitan Police Service)

John DOWDALL - wanted for importing large quantities of cannabis from Spain in 2003. He was tried, convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment in his absence on the 17th May 2005. Arrested in Spain. He was returned to the UK on 27th September 2007. He then appeared before Canterbury Crown Court, where he pleaded guilty to a Bail Act Offence. He was sentenced to a further four months imprisonment, which is to run consecutively to the sentence of five years imprisonment. (Surrey - HMRC)

Markcus JAMAL – wanted for conspiracy for murder of Nageeb El Hakem in 2005. Arrested in Spain. Returned to the UK in January 2007. Trial currently underway at Sheffield Crown Court. NB Not for publication or broadcast – no reporting restrictions in place. (Sheffield – South Yorkshire Police).

John SETON – wanted for the murder of Jon Bartlett in March 2006. Arrested in The Netherlands. Returned to the UK in May 2007. Trial due in Spring 2008. (Kent – Metropolitan Police Service).

Calls to the Spanish 900 555 111 telephone number will be answered in the UK by Crimestoppers call handlers and a translation service will be available on request.

More Info:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

13.5 million visitors to Malaga in 2007

Malaga has continued to be a most popular spot last year, with 13.5 million people flying into the province's airport.
Figures released by the Spanish Airports Authority show that the number of people who arrived in Malaga in 2007 was 3,9 per cent up on the previous year.

The UK continued to be the largest source market for the Costa del Sol destination, with 2.5 million arrivals last year, up by 0,3 per cent on 2006.
While there were more visitors from the UK than any other country, it was France, Ireland and Germany to see the largest increases in numbers, of 15,6, 6,8 and 5,7 per cent respectively.
The rise in German visitors puts the country in third place in overall visitor numbers, behind passengers from other airports operated by the Spanish Airports Authority.
Across the rest of Europe, fewer Swiss citizens visited Malaga in 2007, while the number of travellers coming from Denmark increased by a quarter.

The popularity of holiday destinations such as Malaga continued to prove an important factor in the travel market last year as Spain welcomed 59.7 million visitors, new figures reveal.
This was an increase of 2.2 per cent on the number of people who visited the world's second most popular destination in 2006, according to Exceltur, Spain's main tourism trade body.

A number of factors are thought to have contributed to the growth, including the rising popularity of city breaks and the ongoing growth of low-cost airlines.
According to Jose Luis Zoreda, executive vice-president of Exceltur, Spain is set to enjoy further success this year: "For 2008, we expect 60.7 million tourists in Spain".

The sun and beach segment, of which destinations such as Malaga are a vital part, was among the many sectors to grow last year, with an increase of 0,7 per cent in visitor numbers.