One of UK's most wanted arrested in Dubai over 'drug trafficking plot'

One of Britain’s ‘most wanted’ men has been arrested after being on the run for eight years.

Alleged international drug dealer Michael Paul Moogan, from Croxteth, Liverpool, was detained in Dubai after a joint operation between the National Crime Agency (NCA) and police.

Moogan, 35, has been accused of involvement in a large-scale trafficking plot after a raid on a Dutch cafe in 2013.

He was held on April 21 but the details were only made public for the first time on Sunday due to operational reasons, the NCA said.

The Rotterdam-based Cafe de Ketel – which was not open to the public and could only be entered via a security system – was suspected of being used as a front by an international drug cartel.

It was central to an alleged plot to bring hundreds of kilos of cocaine into the UK from Latin America every week.

During the raid, investigators found handguns, a radio scanner, hundreds of thousands of Euros, a cash-counting machine and dozens of mobile phones.

Working with the Dutch National Crime Squad, the NCA became aware of information that linked Moogan and two other British men to the business.

When they raided the cafe, only one of the men, Robert Hamilton, 71, from Manchester, could be found. He was jailed for eight years in 2014 after pleading guilty to drug charges.

The other man, Robert Gerard, 57, from Liverpool, handed himself in to the NCA after three years on the run, claiming the pressure was too much. He pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges and was jailed in 2017 for 14 years.

Moogan is believed to have entered Dubai using a different identity and tried to avoid CCTV in an attempt to elude detectives.

He is the 86th person arrested under Operation Captura – an NCA fugitive campaign run in conjunction with Crimestoppers.

NCA director of investigations Nikki Holland said: ‘This arrest is the result of years of investigation involving a range of law enforcement partners in the UK, Europe and Middle East.

‘We are extremely grateful to those partners for their assistance in ensuring Moogan now faces justice and particularly thank the Dubai Police for their efforts to track him down.

‘He will be returned to the United Kingdom to face trial. This case should serve as a warning to others on the run from the NCA – we have a global reach, we never give up and they can never rest easy.’

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