East Sussex: Man wanted over drug offences found in Spain

A lorry with pallets hidden underneath concealing drugs
Image caption,The drugs were found hidden inside a lorry near Calais

By Shola Lee

BBC News, South East

A fugitive wanted over the attempted importation of £100,000 of cannabis to the UK has been found in Spain.

Jesus Benito Fernandez-Asta, 55, was detained by Spanish authorities in Almeria on Thursday, after failing to appear at Lewes Crown Court in July.

Mr Fernandez-Asta was charged with conspiring to import class B drugs, being involved in the supply of class A and B drugs and money laundering.

He was arrested in August 2021 at an address on Donald Hall Road, Brighton.

According to the National Crime Agency (NCA), an attempt was made to import cannabis from Spain to the UK.

Blocks of resin were found in the pallet locker of a lorry by Border Force officers carrying out checks on freight at the Channel Tunnel terminal in Coquelles, northern France, in November 2020.

Extradition proceedings

After failing to appear at Lewes Crown Court in July, a warrant was issued for Mr Fernandez-Asta’s arrest.

Spanish National Police officers, working on behalf of the NCA, tracked Mr Fernandez-Asta down at a residential address in the city of Almeria, southeast Spain.

Mr Fernandez-Asta will now appear in court as extradition proceedings begin.

NCA senior investigating officer Dean Wallbank said he was “delighted” Mr Fernandez-Asta was tracked down and he was “grateful” to Spanish authorities.

“No matter where http://saladbiji.com/ fugitives try to hide we have the determination and ability to hunt them down and bring them back to face justice,” Mr Wallbank said.

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