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Suspected UK drug baron arrested in Greece

Simon Dutton
Simon Dutton

One of Britain's most wanted men is set to be extradited to the UK after being arrested in Greece.

Suspected drug dealer Simon Dutton was held in Thessaloniki on Sunday after a joint operation between the National Crime Agency (NCA) and Hellenic Police.

The 38-year-old, from Bolton, Greater Manchester, is wanted for allegedly being part of a crime gang based in the north west of England who tried to smuggle cocaine worth £1.6 million into the UK.

The drugs were seized as part of an operation which saw a "cocaine factory" raided in Stockport in September 2009.

A European arrest warrant was issued for his arrest and he has been on the run for more than six years.

Extradition proceedings are pending and Dutton now faces charges of drug importation, drug supply and money laundering when he is brought back to the UK.

Dave Allen, head of the International Crime Bureau at the NCA, said: "Dutton was on the NCA's Operation Captura wanted list and his arrest means that 74 out of 86 fugitives have now been caught.

"We believe him to be a main player in a criminal organisation involved in the importation and distribution of large amounts of cocaine, so this is a significant arrest.

"Criminals on the run should know that we do not give up. However long it takes, we are looking for you and we have the ability to track you down.

"The NCA is grateful for the support we have received in this investigation from the Hellenic Police, and from Cheshire and Greater Manchester police forces here in the UK."

Dutton's arrest is the part of Operation Captura - involving the NCA, Crimestoppers and police abroad - which allows authorities to track down suspected or convicted criminals believed to be on the run on the continent.

The Most Wanted gallery is on the NCA website at