Norfolk's most wanted man arrested in Bulgaria

One of the UK's most wanted men, Benjamin Macann, 32, has been arrested in Bulgaria

One of the UK's most wanted men, Benjamin Macann, 32, has been arrested in Bulgaria following a multi-agency operation - Credit: National Crime Agency

A suspected drug dealer from Norfolk described as one of the UK's most wanted men has been arrested in Bulgaria, following a two-year international manhunt.

British police have been searching for Benjamin Macann, 32 and from Beetley near Dereham, since 2020, when officers broke up a network supplying cocaine.

He is thought to have left the country just after summer 2020 and not returned since.

In January this year, the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) named him as one of its 'most wanted' alleged fugitives.

At the time, officers said he was thought to be in Spain, where he was said to have links in Barcelona.

Macann, originally from Dereham, was wanted by police for allegedly supplying multi kilogrammes of cocaine in Norfolk

Macann, originally from Dereham, was wanted by police for allegedly supplying multi kilogrammes of cocaine in Norfolk - Credit: National Crime Agency

However, he was arrested this week more than 1,000 miles away, in Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second city.

The NCA said he was arrested on Monday at a hotel in the city, in the south of the country. A fake passport and a genuine passport in someone else's name was also recovered.

He is currently in custody awaiting the beginning of extradition proceedings.

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The operation involved the NCA, Bulgarian police and Spanish Guardia Civil.

Macann, whose last known address was Halfpenny Lane in Beetley, is wanted by Norfolk Constabulary for alleged involvement in the supply of multiple kilograms of cocaine in 2020.

Police, who say he has strong family connections in Dereham and Norwich, have said the alleged criminal network used encrypted mobile phone handsets to carry out deals.

Detective sergeant Eddie Hammond of the Norfolk and Suffolk Serious Organised Crime Unit said: “We continue to work with partners and law enforcement agencies around the world to locate our most wanted.

“We would like to thank them all for their continued determination and meticulous hard work as they continue to disrupt criminal networks around the world, meaning nowhere is safe to hide.”

Macann is the fifth person from the list to be arrested since the 'Most Wanted' campaign was launched in January.

Steve Reynolds, NCA regional manager in Spain, said: “Benjamin Macann’s arrest was  made possible after some great work by our international liaison officers, the Guardia Civil fugitives team, Bulgarian Police and our counterparts in Bulgaria’s international cooperation directorate to whom we are very grateful.

“Macann is the fifth fugitive to be arrested from the Most Wanted list. We won’t stop until the remainder are caught.”