Spanish police arrest one of Europe's 10 most wanted criminals

MADRID Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:10am BST

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MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish police said on Tuesday they had arrested a Briton suspected of leading a drug-trafficking organisation, describing him as one of Europe's top 10 most wanted criminals.

Brian Charrington was arrested along with his girlfriend and son as part of a police operation in which 13 people were detained between Spain and Venezuela.

It was not immediately clear when Charrington, a former car dealer from Middlesborough in northern England, had been arrested.

Police also said they had seized 220 kg of cocaine from an apartment in Alicante, on Spain's east coast, and blocked bank accounts, property and goods worth over 5 million euros (4.3 million pounds).

Spain remains a popular destination for British criminals, who exploited the lack of an extradition treaty between the two countries for several years until 1985. Police arrested British fugitive Mark Lilley in Malaga last week.

Spanish police worked with forces from Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina and Britain in the operation, with the support of AMERIPOL.

(Reporting by Iciar Reinlein; Writing by Clare Kane; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

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