'Most wanted' Cyprus list launched

Halstead Gazette: Crimestoppers has compiled a list of criminals from the UK thought to be hiding in Cyprus Crimestoppers has compiled a list of criminals from the UK thought to be hiding in Cyprus

A "most wanted" list of nine criminals suspected of offences including rape and drug dealing who are thought to be hiding in Cyprus is due to be launched.

Crimestoppers has compiled the list working with officers from the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) and Cypriot authorities.

One of the men is Martin Evans, 50, from Swansea, who is wanted for drug dealing, theft and fraudulent trading.

He ran a drug-dealing gang between 1999 and 2001, smuggling the drugs into Britain and laundering the proceeds by converting cash into foreign currencies and moving it to the Netherlands, where it was used to buy more drugs.

Evans is also wanted for stealing thousands of pounds of investments made to a company he ran called Ostrich Centre Limited in 1995. He fled after being released from prison on licence in 2011.

Details of the remaining eight suspects are due to be released at 10am UK time.

Crimestoppers founder Lord Ashcroft said: "My hope is that we shall see more success in bringing some of the UK's most wanted fugitives to justice.

"While these suspected criminals will see Cyprus as a safe place to evade law enforcement, my belief is that with the help of the local public and expatriate community these individuals will not be able to escape justice for much longer."

The scheme, called Operation Zygos, targets criminals who could be in the Republic of Cyprus or Turkish-controlled Northern Cyprus. Anyone with information is encouraged to come forward regardless of which part of the island the suspect is in.

Soca deputy director Martin Molloy said: "Fugitives hiding overseas typically remain part of the criminal world, continuing to bring harm to communities locally and beyond. Soca and our partners are determined to ensure life on the run is intolerable for them and that they are returned to face justice in the UK."

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