Costa del Crime: Joint campaign targets 12 of UK’s ‘most wanted’ in Spain

British and Spanish police joined forces on Wednesday in the hunt for 12 of the UK's "most wanted fugitives" who are believed to be hiding in Spain. Do you recognise any of them?

uk criminals hiding in spain
Many of the offenders may be trying to blend into the large British communities in Spain and you may recognise one of them from your own town or village," wrote the British Embassy in Spain. Handout: UK National Crime Agency

Launching a joint appeal in Madrid, Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Spanish police released images of 12 men who are wanted for a string of crimes including murder, drug trafficking, serious assaults and other offences.

“Spain is not a safe haven,” said Steve Rodhouse, head of operations for the NCA, noting in a statement the “brilliant relationship” with the Spanish police whom he said had arrested and returned more than 25 wanted Britons in 2021.

The list includes Nana Oppong, a suspect in his early 40s who has links to Marbella and is wanted for the drive-by killing of a 50-year-old man in June 2020.

Another is Callum Halpin, in his late 20s, who is wanted for a murder and a second attempted murder in Manchester and believed to have ties to Alicante and Malaga.

uk criminals in spain

uk criminals in spain

“Many of the offenders may be trying to blend into the large British communities in Spain and you may recognise one of them from your own town or village,” wrote the British Embassy in Spain in a Facebook post.

You can find full details of all the fugitives at

A previous joint campaign — Operation Captura, which was launched in 2006 and ran for well over a decade – successfully netted scores of offenders, he said.

“With 86 offenders arrested in our last fugitives campaign, criminals know we will never give up and we’re never far behind them.”

In a separate statement, Rafael Pérez Ruiz, a top security official at Spain’s interior ministry, said the initiative would “increase police collaboration between Spain and the UK with the aim of creating a hostile environment that would discourage criminals or criminal groups from setting up in Spain and taking residence here”.

“Operation Most Wanted” is a joint initiative run by the NCA and British charity CrimeStoppers, both of whom have released images and details of the fugitives on their respective websites.

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Spanish mother jailed for falsely accusing ex-husband of child abuse

A Spanish court has jailed a woman for five years for repeatedly filing false reports about her ex-husband sexually abusing their daughter.

Spanish mother jailed for falsely accusing ex-husband of child abuse

According to El Mundo daily, the sentence was unprecedented in Spain.

In a ruling handed down by a court in the southern city of Granada which was seen by AFP on Wednesday, the unnamed woman was convicted of filing false allegations, offences against moral integrity and abandonment of parental responsibility.

She was also ordered to pay €40,000 ($42,000) each to the child and her father for the harm caused by her unfounded allegations, which were aimed at securing sole custody of her daughter, now nine.

The court also took away the mother’s parental responsibility for 10 years on grounds she posed “a threat to (her daughter’s) development”, according to court documents dated Monday.

The woman had filed eight reports to the police and the courts over a two-year period, accusing her husband of abuse and on one occasion rape as they were in the throes of getting divorced.

She also took her daughter to be examined by doctors and psychologists on 10 separate occasions.

None of them ever found any evidence of the alleged abuse.

The ongoing gynaecological and psychological examinations had an impact on the child’s “psychological stability and her performance at school”, according to the court documents.

The aim was to “obtain the sole and exclusive custody” of their daughter.

The sentence, which can be appealed, described the mother as a person with a predisposition for “lying” who displayed “shameless cynicism” and “cunning malice with obsessive overtones”.

The couple married in 2010 and had a daughter in 2012. But they split up in 2017 and the problems began a year later when the father, an English teacher, requested joint custody.

After his ex-wife began filing the false allegations against him, he lost most of his students along with his “emotion stability, peace of mind and sense of calm”, the court found.

“It’s like being buried alive,” he told El Mundo.

“It’s trying to kill someone without laying a finger on them… accusing them of the vilest, worst thing that a human being can do: harming your own daughter.”