Salford fugitive on UK 'most wanted' list captured in Spain

Moran with firearms whilst on the run in Spain Photo: SOCA

The final wanted man on a law enforcement hit list of armed robbers from Salford has been captured in Spain.

Andrew Moran, aged 31, who had been on the run since 2009, was arrested in a dramatic raid at a luxury villa in the Calpe area of Alicante on Friday afternoon.

Moran who's been on the run since 2009 Credit: SOCA

Moran was one of seven men targeted as part of a multi-agency initiative to combat organised crime in Salford. He was also on the most wanted list for Crimestoppers’ Operation Captura campaign, and his arrest means 50 fugitives have now been caught since it was launched.

In May 2005 Moran and his criminal associate Stephen Devalda, aged 29, held up a Royal Mail vehicle outside the Asda store in Colne, Lancashire. A handgun, machete and baseball bat during the £25,000 raid in which a security guard was injured.

Moran was later arrested but during his trial at Burnley Crown Court in February 2009 he assaulted four security guards, vaulted over the dock and escaped. He was subsequently convicted in his absence of conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

Moran enjoying a holiday before his capture Credit: SOCA

Detective Chief Inspector Janet Hudson from TITAN said:

"My officers have worked tirelessly alongside SOCA colleagues and the Spanish authorities to track down this dangerous man. Extradition proceedings are now underway. It just goes to show that we will stop at nothing to capture criminals wherever they are in the world. No matter how hard they try to evade justice they will not succeed."

Matt Burton, SOCA’s Head of Investigations, said:

“Moran thought he could evade capture fleeing to Spain, frequently changing his appearance and using false identities. Like his partner in crime Devalda and the other armed robbers on the hit-list discovered though, there’s no hiding place. SOCA and its partners have the capability to pursue criminals relentlessly, track them down, and put them behind bars.”

Dramatic raid on Moran's home Credit: Police image

In May 2005 Moran and his criminal associate Stephen Devalda, aged 29, held up a Royal Mail vehicle outside the Asda store in Colne, Lancashire. A handgun, machete and baseball bat during the £25,000 raid in which a security guard was injured.

Moran was later arrested but during his trial at Burnley Crown Court in February 2009 he assaulted four security guards, vaulted over the dock and escaped. He was subsequently convicted in his absence of conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

Moran was arrested on Friday Credit: SOCA

Lord Ashcroft, KCMG PC, Founder and Chair of Crimestoppers, said:

“To have amassed 50 arrests from a total of 65 appeals is a remarkable achievement for Crimestoppers and our partner organisations, and I am proud that this campaign continues to go from strength-to-strength and bring wanted criminals to justice.”

Moran was tracked down to the Murcia area of Spain in November 2012 but he managed to escape from local officers by ramming two police vehicles in his 4x4 and driving off at speed the wrong way down a motorway. During a search of the house he was living in at the time a handgun, ammunition, five kilos of cannabis, and a vacuum packing machine were recovered.

Extradition proceedings are underway and Moran will be appearing at a court in Madrid tomorrow.