'Cocaine king' nabbed in joint Spain–UK sting op

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 26 Jun, 2014 Updated Thu 26 Jun 2014 17:22 CEST
'Cocaine king' nabbed in joint Spain–UK sting op

A suspected British cocaine trafficker has been arrested in the Spanish resort town of Marbella as part of a sting operation run jointly by Spanish and UK authorities.


Christopher Mealey, 38, from London, was captured following a joint operation involving the Spanish National Police, National Crime Agnecy (NCA) and Metropolitan Police.

Armed officers swooped recently while he was walking along the Paseo Maritimo – a popular beachfront tourist hotspot.

Mealey was the target of a European Arrest Warrant and appeared at the Spanish National Court in Madrid on Wednesday June 25th. Extradition proceedings are now underway.

Mealey is wanted by the Metropolitan Police in connection with an investigation into the importation of millions of pounds worth of cocaine. His father-in-law John Reed and six others have already received jail terms totalling over 130 years.

He is the 60th fugitive to be caught out of 76 publicized through Operation Captura – a multi-agency initiative between the UK's Crimestoppers, the NCA and the Spanish authorities. 

Head of International Operations for the NCA, said: "Mealey thought he could evade capture by fleeing to Spain and using false identity documents but we were able to track him down."

One of the 16 remaining fugitives on the Operation Captura list is Daniel Bowes, wanted in connection with the same investigation.

Daniel Bowes is wanted by UK authorities. Photo: British Embassy Madrid

For people calling from Spain with information on Bowes, or any of the other Operation Captura fugitives, there is a Spanish freephone  number – 900  555 111 – which is answered in the UK by Crimestoppers’ call agents. A translation service is also available for Spanish speakers.

People can also pass on information anonymously via a UK number – 0800 555 111 – and online at


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