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Detained 'Most wanted' man extradited from Dubai to face drugs and firearms charges in UK

Leon Cullen believed he could evade capture by fleeing to Dubai. However, working with our partners in the UK and the United Arab Emirates, we were able to locate and apprehend him so he could be returned to the UK.

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Leon Cullen

Leon Cullen

Leon Cullen

A man described by British police as one of their “most wanted” has been extradited to the UK from the United Arab Emirates after nearly two years on the run.

Leon Cullen (33) from Warrington was detained in Dubai on Friday, January 3 2020 after leaving the UK in January 2018. He was brought back to the UK by officers from the National Extradition Unit on Friday, February 19.

Cullen, who is suspected of being the head of a crime group supplying firearms and drugs, was arrested as a result of a joint operation carried out by Cheshire Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit, the National Crime Agency (NCA), the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (NWROCU), Interpol and police authorities in the UAE.

He appeared at Liverpool Magistrates Court on Saturday in connection with a number of offences including conspiracies to supply firearms, ammunition and class A drugs.

He has been remanded in custody until his next appearance at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday 22 March.

Assistant Chief Constable Matt Burton, from Cheshire Constabulary thanked the UAE authorities, “and all those involved, for their hard work and commitment to bring Cullen back to the UK."

Deputy Director Tom Dowdall, head of NCA International, said: “Leon Cullen believed he could evade capture by fleeing to Dubai. However, working with our partners in the UK and the United Arab Emirates, we were able to locate and apprehend him so he could be returned to the UK.

“This type of global law enforcement cooperation has never been more important to tackling serious and organised crime affecting the UK and I would like to thank the UAE authorities for all their work which led to Cullen’s arrest and extradition.

“Our network of international liaison officers operate across the world and we will continue to work with our policing partners to pursue wanted individuals and ensure nowhere is a safe haven.”

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