Jamie Acourt: Britain’s most wanted man won’t fight extradition from Spain

One of Britain's most-wanted fugitives was arrested by armed officers in Barcelona on Friday, the UK's National Crime Agency said.

Jamie Acourt: Britain's most wanted man won't fight extradition from Spain
An arrest photograph taken in Barcelona on Friday. AFP / NATIONAL CRIME AGENCY

Jamie Acourt, 41, from south London, is wanted for alleged involvement in the large-scale supply of drugs, the NCA said.   

Acourt is a former suspect in the Stephen Lawrence murder inquiry — a killing that triggered far-reaching changes to British attitudes and policing.   

Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle attended a memorial on Monday marking the 25th anniversary of the racist murder of the black teenager, who was stabbed to death at a south London bus stop in 1993.

Jamie Acourt was never tried in the Lawrence case and has always maintained his innocence.

He was detained on a European Arrest Warrant as he left a Barcelona gym.   

He had been due to appear in court in Madrid this week, but at a weekend hearing of the Spanish High Court it was accepted that he will not challenge his extradition.

“Acourt thought he could evade capture but as a result of an intelligence-led operation his days on the run have ended,” said Ian Cruxton, the NCA's international operations chief.

“We were able to direct the Spanish authorities to his location in Barcelona.

“Our ability to share information and work at speed with our international partners ensures there is no safe haven for fugitives. We will never stop pursuing these individuals.”

The NCA said he was the was the 81st fugitive to be located out of 96 publicised through Operation Captura, which targets Britain's most wanted in Spain.

London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement that the arrest related to a 2016 investigation.

A spokeswoman for the National Crime Agency (NCA) said: “We can confirm that he is not challenging his extradition.”

The NCA could not confirm when Acourt, who remains in custody in  Barcelona after appearing in court via videolink, will be brought back to the UK.

READ MORE: Hunt for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain


Most wanted: Fugitive rapist arrested in Tenerife

Spanish police said on Tuesday they had detained one of Britain's most wanted fugitives, who fled the country in 2008 after allegedly raping a woman and was found working in Tenerife.

Most wanted: Fugitive rapist arrested in Tenerife
Mohammed Jahangir Alam was arrested n Tenerife. Photo: Crimestoppers.

Mohammed Jahangir Alam, a Bangladeshi who had been living in Britain on a temporary visa, was convicted in absentia in 2010 for the alleged sexual assault, and sentenced to 14 years in jail.

“The fugitive was tracked down at his work place, a restaurant where he was eventually detained,” Spanish police said in a statement.   

They added he had fake ID on his arrest in Santa Cruz on the island of Tenerife, part of Spain's Canaries off the coast of Africa. It was unclear exactly when he was detained.

A Spanish police spokeswoman told AFP he had fled Britain in 2008.   

Mohammed Jahangir Alam, believed to be 32, was arrested as part of Operation Captura, a joint campaign by Spanish and British police to detain people in Spain who are suspected of committing crimes in Britain.

Last week, as Britain's National Crime Agency (NCA) and Crimestoppers, a police-backed British charity that appeals for help in solving crimes, marked the operation's tenth anniversary on Spain's southern Costa del Sol. They said 76 fugitives had been apprehended out of 86 publicised.

Since then, Matthew Sammon, a 45-year-old man accused of taking and possessing indecent photos of children, has been arrested in Spain.   

Like Mohammed Jahangir Alam, he also figured on Operation Captura's top ten list of most wanted fugitives in Spain.

Others on the list are accused of crimes ranging from murder, violent assault to drug trafficking and money laundering.   

Matthew Burton, head of the NCA's UK fugitives unit, said many British fugitives are attracted to Spain, where it is estimated 800,000 to a million Britons live as expatriates.

“It's been a magnet,” he said.   

“It's easy as a fugitive to blend in and conceal yourself.”

He said the highest number had been found in Spain, but Britons who had allegedly committed crimes also fled to Cyprus, Portugal and Italy.