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One of Britain’s most-wanted men, 32, arrested in Bulgaria

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‘Cocaine kingpin’ and one of Britain’s most-wanted men, 32, is arrested in Bulgaria ‘carrying a fake passport’

  • Benjamin Macann, 32, was arrested on Monday at a hotel in Plovdiv, Bulgaria
  • He is wanted in home county of Norfolk for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs
  • Cops say Macann used encrypted mobiles in bid to sell multiple kilos of cocaine
  • Macann thought to be hiding in Barcelona but was tracked to eastern Europe 

An alleged cocaine kingpin who was one of Britain’s most-wanted men has been captured in Bulgaria.

Benjamin Macann, 32, was arrested at a hotel in the city of Plovdiv on Monday while carrying a fake passport and a genuine passport in someone else’s name.

Macann, originally from Norfolk, is wanted by local police accused of conspiracy to supply multiple kilograms of cocaine in 2020 using encrypted mobile handsets.

Benjamin Macann, 32, is wanted by police in his home country of Norfolk for conspiracy to supply several kilograms of cocaine using encrypted mobile handsets

Benjamin Macann, 32, is wanted by police in his home country of Norfolk for conspiracy to supply several kilograms of cocaine using encrypted mobile handsets

The Briton was thought to be hiding out in Spain and had connections to Barcelona but was traced to Bulgaria after a joint operation by the UK’s National Crime Agency, Bulgarian police and the Spanish Guardia Civil.

He is now in custody in Bulgaria where he is awaiting extradition back to the UK following the tip-off from an elite Spanish anti-fugitive unit which led to his arrest.

The maximum sentence for supplying Class A drugs is lifetime imprisonment.

Macann was identified as one of Britain’s most-wanted on a list of names published by Crimestoppers in January.

Well-placed Spanish sources revealed today he had been holed up in southern Spain when the appeal was launched and fled a month later.

Five of the 12 people – all men – named on the list have since been arrested.

The officers that discovered Macann was in Bulgaria were the same involved in the arrest in February of fraudster Sarah Panitzke in a small Catalan village where she had spent most of her nine years on the run.

They also captured Irish fugitive gang boss Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch last August near his hideaway in the Costa del Sol resort of Fuengirola.

University graduate Panitzke was flown back to the UK late last week to start an eight-year prison sentence over a multimillion-pound VAT fraud.

A Spanish police insider said: ‘After Macann was named in the appeal in January information started to come in and he was pinpointed to a flat in Marbella and then another property in another municipality in Malaga province.

‘The problem was that he managed to stay one step ahead of the police and had disappeared by the time the information came in and officers were dispatched to check it out.

Macann was though to be hiding out in Barcelona but was tracked to the city of Plovdiv, southern Bulgaria, where he was arrested on Monday

Macann was though to be hiding out in Barcelona but was tracked to the city of Plovdiv, southern Bulgaria, where he was arrested on Monday

‘It was then discovered he had escaped the country with a false passport, in the month of February, to an unknown destination.

‘With a lot of hard work it was established he was in Bulgaria and that information was passed on to police there so they could work on it.’

Steve Reynolds, NCA regional manager in Spain, said: ‘Benjamin Macann’s arrest was made possible after some great work by our international liaison officers, the Guardia Civil fugitives team, Bulgarian Police and our counterparts in Bulgaria’s international cooperation directorate to whom we are very grateful.

‘Macann is the fifth fugitive to be arrested from the Most Wanted list. We won’t stop until the remainder are caught.’

Detective Sergeant Eddie Hammond of the Norfolk and Suffolk Serious Organised Crime Unit said: ‘We continue to work with partners and law enforcement agencies around the world to locate our most wanted.

‘We would like to thank them all for their continued determination and meticulous hard work as they continue to disrupt criminal networks around the world, meaning nowhere is safe to hide.’

Lord Ashcroft, founder and chair of the charity Crimestoppers, said: ‘Our charity is here to support people to speak up anonymously when they know about crime and that includes passing on the whereabouts of fugitives who are wanted by law enforcement both here and abroad.

‘It is incredibly encouraging to learn that another fugitive has been caught, proving the success of our joint Most Wanted campaign with the NCA. 

‘I urge anyone else who has information on one of the individuals named on our list to call our charity anonymously or contact us via our website crimestoppers-uk.org. 

‘Your information could make all the difference.’



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