British trafficker jailed in UK after five years on the run

A British drug trafficker among the most wanted in the UK has been extradited from Thailand after five years on the run and is now behind bars, Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said on Saturday.

Richard Wakeling, 55, had been sentenced by default to eleven years in prison by British justice for having tried to introduce into the country for 8 million pounds (9 million euros) of liquid amphetamine in 2016. He s fled in 2018, on the eve of his trial, and has since been on the UK authorities’ most wanted list.

Immediately imprisoned

Arrested in February in Thailand, he was extradited and arrived in the UK on Thursday evening, the NCA said in a statement. He was presented in court on Friday and “immediately imprisoned after being sentenced in his absence”.

“Richard Wakeling thought he could escape justice by leaving the UK,” reacted in a statement Saturday Jacque Beer, responsible for the NCA. “But the work of NCA officers here in the UK and overseas kept him behind bars for a long time. The fugitive was arrested in February in Bangkok, when he went to retrieve his car from a garage.

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