1. ITV Report

Suspected Liverpool drug trafficker Scott Hughes arrested in Belgium

Scott Hughes Credit: Merseyside Police

Suspected drug trafficker Scott Hughes who featured in the Operation Captura most wanted fugitives campaign has been arrested in Belgium.

Hughes, aged 35, from Halewood, was captured following a joint operation between the National Crime Agency, Belgian Federal Police and Merseyside Police.

He was travelling from Dubai to Belgium using a fraudulent passport, and was stopped upon arrival at Brussels Airport yesterday. Extradition proceedings are now underway.

Hughes is wanted by Merseyside Police for allegedly being a member of a Liverpool-based organised crime group involved in the large-scale supply of class A drugs.

He became a target of Operation Captura – a joint initiative between the NCA and Crimestoppers to capture fugitives – and his arrest means 75 out of 86 on the most wanted list have now been caught.

Dave Allen, Head of the NCA’s International Crime Bureau, said:

“This is a significant arrest as Hughes is suspected of being one of the substantial players in a crime group responsible for distributing large amounts of drugs across Merseyside.

“Hughes had been on the run since 2011 and believed he could evade capture by moving from country to country using a fraudulent passport, but we were able to track him down and arrest him with the help of the Belgian authorities."

– Dave Allen

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

“We are currently in the tenth year of Operation Captura and the results that the agencies involved have been able to achieve are remarkable.

“To have been able to locate more than seven individuals a year accused or convicted of serious crimes shows this campaign works, but I would ask anyone with information on the outstanding eleven to contact Crimestoppers anonymously, safe in the knowledge nobody will know you have done so.”

– Lord Ashcroft

Detective Superintendent Lee Turner, from Merseyside Police’s Matrix Serious Organised Crime team, said:

"We are very pleased with yesterday’s developments and grateful for the assistance of our colleagues in the National Crime Agency and Belgian Federal Police.

“Merseyside Police works very closely with the NCA’s Fugitives Unit, as well as law enforcement agencies throughout Europe, to arrest people suspected of being involved in criminality. We will continue to work together to bring offenders to justice and use all the resources and legislation at our disposal to do so.”

– Detective Superintendent Lee Turner