Alex Male: One of Britain’s most wanted men arrested at Lisbon Airport

·2-min read
 (NCA)
(NCA)

One of Britain’s most wanted men has been arrested at Lisbon Airport after allegedly trying to enter Portugal with a forged passport.

Alleged drug trafficker and money launderer Alex Male was reportedly held as he got off a flight from the Turkish capital, Istanbul.

The Portuguese Borders and Immigration Service (SEF) confirmed a 30-year-old British man was arrested on Saturday night.

A UK National Crime Agency spokesperson said Male, who had previously been on the run in the Marbella area of the Costa del Sol in Spain before moving to Portugal, arrived in Lisbon on the flight from Turkey after being refused entry a few hours earlier when Turkish police noticed the allegedly “fraudulent” passport.

NCA International Liaison Officer Phil Robinson said: “Male naively believed he could travel across international borders using fraudulent documentation and remain undetected by law enforcement.

“But he underestimated the vigilance and expertise of the Turkish border police, which enabled the Portuguese authorities to act.

“Any arrest of a fugitive is a fantastic result, even more so since Male had only recently been added to our most wanted list. He is wanted in connection with dangerous crimes, which have a devastating impact on communities, so I’m delighted he has been caught.

“We continue to work with our international partners to close the net around fugitives, no matter where they are.”

Detective Inspector Adrian Hawkins, from the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit, said: “The arrest of Alex Male brings an end to a long period of investigation taking place in the UK and across Europe.

“Male will now be returned to the Criminal Justice System in the UK to face the charges he ran away from. This is an example of international law enforcement working together to ensure justice can be done and demonstrating there is nowhere safe to hide.”

Male had skipped bail in December 2020 and reportedly fled to Spain to avoid British justice.

The NCA said, alongside a mugshot picture of Male it released earlier this year: “Alleged to be a regional distributor of drugs across the south west of England, buying and selling drugs and managing other distributors who operated under his instruction using the EncroChat encrypted communications network.

“He is accused of conspiracy to supply cocaine and ketamine, money laundering, conspiracy to acquire a firearm.”

It added in a statement: “At around 6ft tall, Male has a number of distinctive tattoos including a skull on his adams apple and a full sleeve on his left arm with a family tree.

“‘Love’ is tattooed on his left hand along with a swallow and he has three stars tattooed on his left wrist.

“He also has a full tribal sleeve tattoo on his right arm going onto his chest with an angel on his back and ‘live’ tattooed on his right hand.

Male was due to be taken to court in Lisbon on Monday for a behind-closed-doors extradition hearing.

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