Jay Slater detective claims he found 'established criminal network' in Tenerife

Mark Williams-Thomas and Jay Slater (right)
-Credit: (Image: Stan Kujawa)

A former Met Police officer has claimed he found an "established criminal network" while investigating Jay Slater's disappearance in Tenerife. Mark Williams-Thomas, now a TV detective, said he remains "open-minded" to possible links with the underworld and Jay's disappearance.

Mark previously flew to Tenerife to help find Jay. In a recent video update posted online, he said his enquires had "opened up" an "established criminal network" with "links to drugs, violent crime and theft".

"As part of this investigation, we have sought to speak with all of the people Jay had contact with whilst in Tenerife," he said in a piece-to-camera. "The result of this digging has opened up an established criminal network with links to drugs, violent crime and theft."

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The investigative journalist said he was "unable to say" if the network had "anything to do with Jay's disappearance" but added he was "open-minded". "At this stage I cannot expand any further on what we now know," he said.

Mark also claimed today that he had spoken to 'convicted dealer' Ayub Qassim who it's believed invited the missing teen back to the rental property where he stayed the night before vanishing. "In the last 24 hours I have spoken in detail with Ayub Qassim - also known as Jonny Vegas," said Mark.

“He told me he was on the [Veronicas] Strip in Playa de las Americas and said that Jay wanted to carry on partying and that he hadn't anywhere to stay. So he [Qassim] invited him back to his rental.

"Once at the property, his friend opened the door, and went to the left and went straight to sleep. Jay walked in, and Qassim walked in behind him, went upstairs, and got him a red blanket."

The TV detective added: “Qassim said 'Yo bro, the sofa's for you there' and he gave him a towel if he needed a shower. Jay also asked for a cigarette and Qassim gave him a Camel cigarette and left it on the side. Jay then asked for a charger and then went into Qassim's friend room, while he was sleeping and got the charger.”

Mark said Qassim told him he went to sleep but was awoken by the sound of the door buzzing. He added: “Qassim opened the door and spoke to a woman and man and they told him to move his car - which he did and he said he could see Jay chatting to a woman.

“He said that after moving the car, he came back and saw Jay had his trainers on and he told Qassim that the woman had said he could get a bus 'every ten minutes'. Qassim said to him 'chill, mate, I'll drop you off later, when I wake up' but he said Jay said 'nah, I need some scran, I'm hungry."

"Jay said he had been told by the woman the bus to Los Cristianos was every ten minutes and Qassim said there was no bus and added 'do what you like' before going to sleep." Qassim was in touch with the Spanish police and had extended his stay in Tenerife to assist with the investigation.

Jay, an apprentice bricklayer from Lancashire, has been missing on the island for three weeks. Despite a huge search operation, the teenager has not yet been found.