UK & World News

  • 4 August 2014, 2:08

Fugitive UK Drug Dealer Found In South Africa

One of the UK's most wanted men, convicted cocaine smuggler and fraudster Martin Evans, has been captured in South Africa.

Armed officers swooped on Evans, 52, as he was getting out of his car inJohannesburg, bringing an end to an international manhunt.

He was tracked down to a housing complex in the Midrand area of the city after investigators from Britain's National Crime Agency (NCA) alerted Interpol to his whereabouts.

Evans, a former Welsh businessman of the year, went on the run from prison in August 2011 after a home visit.

He had been serving 21 years for drug smuggling and fraudulent trading.

Sky's Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt said detectives described his capture as "a real scalp".

"There's a lot waiting for him when he gets back," Brunt said.

Hank Cole, head of international operations for the NCA, said: "This arrest shows the NCA and its partners will pursue fugitives wherever they are in the world.

"They can run but they can't hide. We have the capability to track them down and bring them to justice."

It is understood the fugitive will appear in court in Pretoria before being extradited back to Britain.

Evans, from Pontardulais, was once an award-winning businessman running a successful double glazing firm in Port Talbot.

But his business collapsed and Evans turned to fraud, cheating investors in a new ostrich farm business out of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Much of the money was channelled into offshore accounts in Jersey and the Bahamas and Evans was known to have a 2m villa in Marbella.

He also had properties in Miami and Florida.

Shortly before his trial for fraud, Evans went on the run for the first time, first to Spain and then to Holland.

The NCA said it was while on the run that he masterminded a multimillion-pound drugs and money laundering operation.

He supplied huge quantities of cocaine and MDMA between 1999 and 2001.

He was caught when he tried to use a false passport to enter the US in November 2001. He was later jailed for 21 years back in the UK.

But he went on the run for a second time when he was released on a temporary licence to an address in Swansea in August 2011.

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