Episode 2 Fugitives


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Episode 2

Documentary series. The search for a member of a Salford gang leads the UK's National Crime Agency and Dutch police to a small village in the Netherlands.


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Transcript


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-EXPLOSION

-Come on!

-On the run...

-Get back here!

-..and over here.

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Hands out now. Hands out!

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When foreign criminals flee their home countries, many hide out in the UK.

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-Give me your hands.

-But if they think they're safe, they're wrong.

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They know they're wanted.

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A lot of these people are waiting for that knock on the door.

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But the traffic in fugitives isn't all one way.

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Across Europe, there are hundreds of British criminals

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also trying to escape justice.

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From the sun-drenched costas, where the villains seek a life of luxury...

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..to the busy streets of the Dutch capital

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where many continue their life of crime,

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we join the crack teams hunting them down.

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When you take the risk to come to Amsterdam as a criminal

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there's a high chance that we get you.

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When it comes to justice, borders are no barrier.

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You're under arrest under the Extradition Act 2003.

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This is how the police take down the fugitives...

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Police officer!

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..both at home and abroad.

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If you're thinking of running, don't.

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We will find you.

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We will bring you back.

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On today's programme...

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..Dutch police hunt British criminals

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who think they've got away with it.

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The message is don't come over here

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because you're not safe here as well.

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In Leeds, there's no place to hide for a large-scale drug dealer

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who should be in a Polish prison.

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She brought that about, not West Yorkshire Police.

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She brought that about.

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Hi, it's police. Could you let us in?

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And in Hereford,

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a major operation to find the men and women living life on the run.

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We're going to take them away from their family,

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we're going to send them back to a place where they've left

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that they don't want to be.

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Across Europe, fugitives are on the run.

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For many Brits the destination is Amsterdam.

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The city's easy to access and English is widely spoken.

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For Dutch police, the manhunt never stops.

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In February 2011, a Dutch SWAT team were preparing to raid a house

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in the village of Kortenhoef, just outside the capital,

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where a British fugitive was hiding out.

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We got the information that he was here in the neighbourhood,

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that he was very violent, and maybe armed.

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EXPLOSION, GLASS SHATTERS

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The wanted man was Sean Devalda.

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Detective Chief Inspector Aaron Duggan from Greater Manchester Police

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had been hunting for him since 2007.

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Back then the detectives were tracking a gang of armed robbers

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from Salford, planning to hijack a cash delivery van.

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They would steal motor vehicles from people's houses during burglaries.

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The cars are then put on false plates and are used

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in the commission of armed robberies.

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We were behind this team and we were aware of what they were up to.

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Sean Devalda formed part of this armed robbery team

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with three others.

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In early 2007, surveillance officers were watching as members of the gang

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driving cars they'd stolen met up in a lay-by.

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What we observed during the course of the investigation was the stolen

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vehicles being parked up here on false plates

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doing dry runs down into Salford

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where the cash depot is and what we actually observed

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was one of the stolen vehicles from here actually drive,

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peel off behind a cash-in-transit vehicle,

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enter the M60 here at junction 19.

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The surveillance helped officers

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work out where and when the thieves would strike.

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It also led them to one of the gang's main players.

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Sean Devalda came into the investigation late in the day.

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We only identified who he was reasonably late on.

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But we were satisfied that he was part of the team that were looking at committing commercial robberies.

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Within weeks the gang swung into action.

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But the police too were ready and waiting to catch them in the act.

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Sean Devalda, on the day in question, was in a stolen vehicle,

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a stolen car that was on false plates,

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and we were surveilling that vehicle.

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So, we were aware of who was in the vehicle.

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We had measures in place, should they commit a crime,

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that we could intervene, or prevent it from happening in the first place.

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As detectives tailed Devalda and his three accomplices,

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they seemed to panic.

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They abandoned their mission,

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speeding off into the back streets of Salford.

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For whatever reason they decided to abort on the day in question

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and two items were discarded from the vehicle.

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In their panic the men made a crucial mistake.

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A mask and a gun were hurled from the car.

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There just happened to be a nine millimetre weapon that was loaded

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with seven live bullets and a balaclava.

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And obviously evidence was present on the items that linked Sean Devalda to that vehicle.

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His DNA was in it, basically.

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So we were able to put him to that item.

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Three of the gang were arrested but Devalda was more elusive.

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Detectives turned to the public for help.

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MUSIC: Crimewatch Theme Tune

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Take a good look at this lot.

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First up is Sean Devalda, who's 21,

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goes by the nickname Tusk and has strong links to Salford,

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Prestwich and parts of Bolton.

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But he's very dangerous,

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so if you see him don't approach him, just dial 999.

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But it was too late to appeal to Crimewatch viewers.

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The armed robber had already fled from the UK.

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Now he was living the high life in the Spanish sunshine.

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He was well supported financially.

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He was living in decent accommodation.

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He was attending big pool parties

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that cost an awful lot of money to get in.

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But he was with a number of close friends and associates of his

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that were looking after him.

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Later, how Devalda's luxury life on the run

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would be undone by his own phone calls.

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Twice a year, roads police across the UK run a special operation

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tracking down foreign criminals using the British road network.

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Are you both known to the police at all?

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No?

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It's run from a hub in Birmingham

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linking up with 12 European forces in the never-ending search

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for the 18,000 criminals who go on the run in Europe every year.

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We deal with a full range of offences from murder, rape,

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robbery, all down to lower-level offences.

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But these can often be people who are wanted in their own country

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but are currently living in the UK.

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-We need passports.

-That documentation is crucial for the quick removal of those people.

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Passports is the main thing to stop them leaving.

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Today in Worcestershire, police constables Karl Lacey and Danny Evans

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have a list of people to track down who are wanted abroad.

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We are going to go to these addresses today,

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locate and arrest on behalf of the Polish and Romanian authorities.

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We're just arriving at one of the addresses now in Redditch.

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This is a Romanian female that we're looking for here,

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wanted on drugs offences.

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We're just pulling into the close now.

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So we're going to secure the front and back of the house.

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Hopefully she'll be there.

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The intention is to knock the door,

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try and get in the house as quick as we can and detain this female.

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This one here. This one here.

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Before approaching the door,

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the team want to make sure all other potential exits are covered.

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Yes, yes. Back secure.

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The top window's open and the patio door's open. Received?

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To be honest, I don't think she'll be able to get out the back here.

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There's a top window open there.

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While Karl and Danny watch the back,

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officers Matt and Jim knock on the door.

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A Romanian man answers.

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Who else is in the house?

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Uh, two colleagues.

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-Two colleagues?

-Yeah, and one family.

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OK, are they upstairs?

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-Yeah.

-OK.

-Please...

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Do you want to just go and have a seat in the kitchen for me?

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-Yeah, OK.

-And we'll go and have a little knock-up, all right?

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You wait here, all right?

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The police have intelligence to suggest the woman has recently lived here.

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It's essential they speak to all the occupants to check if anyone matches

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the description of the wanted woman.

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Hello. Morning.

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-Yes, yes, two males.

-Police.

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KNOCKING ON DOOR

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-Five occupants now.

-Have you got ID?

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While they double-check the identities of everybody here,

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Danny makes sure there's no place a fugitive could be hiding.

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-It's clear.

-The woman isn't here

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but police suspect that someone will know where she is.

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When did she move out?

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-Five months.

-Five months ago?

-Something like that.

-Right, OK.

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The lady that we're looking for has moved out about five months ago so

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they're just doing some enquiries now with the remaining occupants to see if we can get her phone number.

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Or some further address.

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It just appeared that she couldn't pay her rent properly

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so she'd been kicked out of her house.

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But then the tenant who previously denied all knowledge

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lets on that he knows where the woman works.

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OK, we'll go and have a little look.

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Sorry to wake you up. OK?

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But thank you for your help. OK?

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And we'll try and see if we can speak to her.

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-All right? I'll let you get back to bed. OK.

-OK, thank you.

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They're all Romanian occupants in the house.

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They've been quite engaging with us

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so we're going to go to the work premises.

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We know she definitely does work there because they work there

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and they saw her there a couple of days ago.

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It's a short drive to the factory

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where the fugitive is apparently working.

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But when the team arrive, the woman accused of drug dealing has disappeared.

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The premises that we've attended today,

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the lady's been fired from.

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They haven't got no forwarding address for her at the moment.

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The only address that they've got is...

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..the one that we've been to.

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The lead then went cold on that

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because they didn't know where she'd gone

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and we had no way of finding out.

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Hunting fugitives is a cat and mouse game

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where success is never guaranteed.

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It can be very frustrating when you don't find people that you

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are tasked to find.

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If you don't get the result that you're after but you've exhausted every lead,

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at least you can be satisfied to know

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that you've not left any stone unturned.

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We just need to wait for her now to pop her head up,

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make some sort of application, do something,

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where we can just get a new address for them.

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The woman may have avoided capture today

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but the police will never give up the chase.

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Hi, it's police. Could you let us in?

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Later, we'll see how Karl and Danny's determination

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finally pays off when they find another target IS at home.

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-Vilias?

-Yeah.

-You're Vilias, yeah?

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-Yeah.

-OK, we've got him, Sarge.

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In February 2007, armed robber Sean Devalda went on the run.

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He'd been part of a gang who tried and failed

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to rob a cash van in Salford.

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Police suspected he'd fled to Spain.

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The National Crime Agency, who track down British criminals who flee abroad,

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began to search for him.

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We tried to build up a picture to see who he would be communicating with,

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or he would be frequently visiting, who would be coming visiting him...

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Trying to get a good clear understanding of where Sean was

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and how best we could capture him.

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They discovered that Devalda wasn't alone in Spain.

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It seemed being a fugitive was a family trait.

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He was in Spain with his brother who was also wanted by Lancashire Police

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for a similar offence.

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We wanted them locked up, cos even though they were out of the country,

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they still presented a risk.

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Whilst the Devalda brothers were sunning themselves in Spain,

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the other men who'd planned to rob the cash delivery van weren't so lucky.

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The trial went ahead despite Devalda being on the run at the time and his

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co-conspirators were found guilty in early 2008.

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Devalda was convicted in his absence.

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Police across Europe were asked to join in the manhunt.

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It took three years before detectives in Manchester heard that Devalda had been spotted.

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But by then he'd left Spain for Amsterdam, using false documents to conceal his identity.

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Whilst on the run, Devalda was able to obtain a number of false

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identities that allowed him basically to travel from Spain to Amsterdam

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without being apprehended by the authorities.

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But Devalda didn't stay long in the city.

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His phone records soon revealed his country hideout.

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They knew that he was in a rural part of the Netherlands

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surrounded by water, little inlets, fenced-off community,

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so it was quite clear that they'd got a good lock on him.

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Now it was down to the Dutch police.

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We have methods to get somebody by surprise.

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Was the fugitive's run of good luck about to come to an end?

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EXPLOSION

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In the last ten years, around 2,000 British fugitives have fled from the UK.

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Many head for Amsterdam's crowded streets and Spain's busy beaches.

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But what makes a desperate man go on the run?

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A moment of panic or a premeditated plan?

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Andrew Moran staged one of the most dramatic escapes from justice

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ever seen in Britain.

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On the last day of his trial for armed robbery, he leapt the dock.

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It was a move he'd spent weeks planning,

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even down to the trainers he was wearing that day.

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To succeed in making such a dramatic escape,

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former undercover cop Peter Bleksley believes that a criminal needs to be

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good at planning ahead.

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The small-time villain who sees an open window and clambers into

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somebody's house, almost on the spur of the moment,

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stuffs his pockets full of jewellery and cash and then runs away,

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doesn't really plan much beyond that.

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People involved in very serious crime tend to spend a large amount

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of their time plotting and planning those crimes.

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Consequently, they think about what they'll do if they get identified.

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These people invariably have criminal networks

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that cross borders and these networks are able to support them,

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keep them hidden and away from the law.

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Fugitives rely on these networks.

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In Moran's case, associates provided him with a luxury hideout and

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transport around Spain's Costa Blanca.

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But friends and family can inadvertently lead detectives

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to the man they're trying to track down.

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As former police Inspector Brendan O'Brien explains.

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We would focus on their parents, their girlfriends,

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their cousins, their friends.

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We would visit them at all sorts of extraordinary times of

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the day. Any legal and ethical way of finding them, we would utilise.

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And every time we went into an address we'd be looking for little clues as

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to whether they'd been there or not.

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I've not come across anyone who's been wanted

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who's completely broken all ties with their friends and family.

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Ultimately, it was Moran's girlfriend who led police to his hideaway.

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But whilst some fugitives like Moran manage to stay hidden for years,

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others, including Glen Madden,

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find being away from family and friends just too difficult.

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The drug dealer fled from Liverpool to Amsterdam in February 2015.

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Just four months later, he was spotted walking around the city in broad daylight.

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When officers arrested him, they were surprised by his response.

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When he was arrested the suspect said, "I'm relieved...

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"I'm glad that you've got me,"

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because he had a lot of pressure.

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To be on the run...

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..takes a lot of energy.

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It's not a comfortable way of living.

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Peter Bleksley knows to his cost

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what it's like to live a life in hiding.

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He was once placed in witness protection for his own safety.

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I was in fear of the footsteps behind me.

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I was in fear of every passing car.

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Because my thoughts were, "Is this the person that's come to kill me?"

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When a fugitive feels, "Is this the person that's come to catch me?"

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the pressure is constant.

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Forever living your life looking over your shoulder is a very,

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very wearing, demoralising, unpleasant experience.

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When that hand finally lands on their shoulder,

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their wrists go into the handcuffs,

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it can sometimes be a relief because all that time, all that pressure,

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all those stresses and strains of being a fugitive suddenly disappear.

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West Yorkshire, with its population of over two million people,

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has one of the busiest extradition units in the UK.

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Other than the Metropolitan Police with quite a sizeable team,

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we in West Yorkshire have executed more European Arrest Warrants

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than any other force in the country.

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That's done on purpose to protect our communities.

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On the front line, it's PC Dave Lockwood and his partner PC Tom Allen's job

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to hunt down foreign nationals wanted for committing crimes back in their native countries.

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Tonight they have two urgent cases.

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The first is a violent man who's been on the run for three years.

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He is now thought to be hiding out in one of the UK's biggest cities.

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We are going to Leeds and we are looking for a Polish male,

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Przemyslaw Milewski, and he's wanted for a robbery.

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Reading through it, the robbery, he's kicked him all over the body,

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used force, and hit him in order to get his mobile phone.

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He's used threats to kill the victim and then he's actually kidnapped the

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victim and thrown him in the boot of a Skoda Octavia and taken him to an

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unknown location and terrorised him further.

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He's then stolen his identity card,

0:20:250:20:28

committed a fraud by, I think, obtaining money.

0:20:290:20:33

In short, he's exactly the sort of criminal West Yorkshire Police

0:20:330:20:37

want off their streets.

0:20:370:20:39

People who try to evade justice in Europe by hiding in the

0:20:390:20:45

communities of West Yorkshire

0:20:450:20:47

are a risk to the people in West Yorkshire.

0:20:470:20:50

Those offenders do not come to West Yorkshire

0:20:500:20:53

to resettle and rehabilitate.

0:20:530:20:55

They come, firstly, to escape justice in the country where

0:20:550:20:59

they're wanted, then they come to West Yorkshire as an unknown commodity

0:20:590:21:04

but proficient in committing crime.

0:21:040:21:06

This house is the last known address for the man they're after.

0:21:120:21:18

KNOCKING ON DOOR

0:21:180:21:19

Contact.

0:21:190:21:20

-Female's coming down.

-Cool.

0:21:200:21:22

But the woman who answers the door claims not to know him.

0:21:230:21:27

We're here because we're looking for a gentleman who we believed was

0:21:270:21:32

resident at one of these two flats.

0:21:320:21:34

Do you know anybody by the name of...

0:21:360:21:37

..Przemyslaw Milewski?

0:21:390:21:41

-No.

-Are we OK just to come up and have a look?

0:21:410:21:43

Is that OK?

0:21:430:21:44

We need to speak to this gentleman, that's all, so...

0:21:450:21:48

Rather than taking her at her word, the officers go inside

0:21:480:21:53

to search the premises.

0:21:530:21:54

She's never heard of this gentleman, she's lived here for three years.

0:21:540:21:57

Looks honest, looks like she's telling the truth

0:21:570:22:00

but the connection is that she's Polish.

0:22:000:22:02

Obviously the male we want is Polish.

0:22:020:22:03

People do sometimes...

0:22:030:22:05

..lie and not tell us the truth.

0:22:060:22:07

So rather than just talking on the doorstep, since we're here,

0:22:070:22:10

with her permission, we're just going to have a look and make sure there's no belongings for a male.

0:22:100:22:15

The trail that led them to this address seems to have gone cold.

0:22:160:22:20

I think for now we're pretty much stuck on this one, aren't we?

0:22:210:22:25

We've got intelligence linking him here one month ago.

0:22:250:22:28

We know for a fact he definitely lived here in 2011.

0:22:280:22:32

But there's intelligence showing him as being here a month ago.

0:22:320:22:35

-Move on to the next one?

-Yeah.

0:22:350:22:37

Thank you very much. I see your keys here.

0:22:370:22:39

Are you coming down to let us out?

0:22:390:22:40

Thank you very much, love.

0:22:400:22:42

Wanted people are never helpful.

0:22:420:22:45

They will hide or they will fight and stay on the move.

0:22:450:22:48

It's frustrating, but eventually we catch up with them because they fall

0:22:490:22:54

asleep, they stay in places for a little longer and we catch them.

0:22:540:22:58

The officers will never give up.

0:22:590:23:01

Once there's new intelligence, the search for the man linked to this

0:23:010:23:04

address a month ago will start again.

0:23:040:23:07

And with around 1,500 European criminals fleeing to the UK each year,

0:23:070:23:12

there are plenty more to go after.

0:23:120:23:15

The officers' next warrant is for a serious drug dealer from Poland.

0:23:160:23:20

She's been part of an organised crime group producing and trafficking

0:23:210:23:25

amphet and cannabis throughout Poland.

0:23:250:23:28

The sort of numbers we're talking about here is 6,000g of pure amphet.

0:23:290:23:34

So, a good level.

0:23:350:23:37

Later, intelligence suggests

0:23:380:23:40

this may be the Leeds home of the Polish drug dealer

0:23:400:23:44

wanted for selling amphetamines with a street value

0:23:440:23:47

of tens of thousands of pounds.

0:23:470:23:49

It's the police. Can you open the door, please?

0:23:510:23:53

There's a little girl. She's about three.

0:23:530:23:55

But could this woman really be the ruthless drug dealer Dave and Tom are looking for?

0:23:550:24:01

In Herefordshire, traffic cops Karl Lacey and Danny Evans

0:24:090:24:12

are taking part in a national operation tackling foreign offenders.

0:24:120:24:17

They have a list of fugitives wanted abroad they need to track down.

0:24:170:24:22

We're going back across Hereford again now and we're in possession of a European Arrest Warrant for a male

0:24:220:24:30

who is wanted for burglary in Lithuania.

0:24:300:24:33

It's our intention to go to the address and make some enquiries.

0:24:330:24:37

Hopefully if he's there we can arrest him.

0:24:370:24:40

On arrival, the team of officers fan out to surround the property.

0:24:430:24:48

They know they're trying to catch a serious offender,

0:24:480:24:50

Vilius Slyzauskas, who is on the run to escape a six-year jail sentence.

0:24:500:24:57

This man was wanted.

0:24:570:24:59

He'd been convicted of burglary offences of a six-year imprisonment

0:24:590:25:03

and he was currently outstanding and absconded from them.

0:25:030:25:06

-Is it a flat number?

-Four.

0:25:070:25:09

Uh, flat two.

0:25:120:25:14

We've attended the address.

0:25:140:25:16

Do the... Do their...

0:25:160:25:17

We've tried to put a cordon on the area to prevent him from escaping from the property.

0:25:180:25:24

To get past the security door, Danny employs a trick of the trade.

0:25:240:25:29

It's a communal flats.

0:25:290:25:31

We've pressed the intercom,

0:25:310:25:32

I've covered up the camera so he didn't see

0:25:320:25:34

who was on the other side of the door and he's just opened the door.

0:25:340:25:37

-'Yes?'

-Hi, it's police, could you let us in?

0:25:380:25:40

-Hello.

-Hi.

0:25:450:25:46

-Hello.

-Hello, how are you?

0:25:460:25:48

-All right?

-All right. Are you flat number two, are you, sir?

-Sorry?

-Flat number two?

0:25:480:25:51

-Yeah.

-Um...

0:25:510:25:54

That's you.

0:25:560:25:57

Slyzauskas has been at large for over a year and a half.

0:25:570:26:01

Have you got your passport?

0:26:010:26:02

-Vilius?

-Yeah.

-You're Vilius, yeah?

-Yeah.

0:26:020:26:04

OK, we've got him, Sarge.

0:26:070:26:08

There's an element of it's always going to catch up with him at some point

0:26:100:26:13

but mid-morning on a rainy day

0:26:130:26:15

I don't think he expected the police to be knocking his door and taking him away.

0:26:150:26:19

You're under arrest under the Extradition Act 2003.

0:26:190:26:22

You do not have to say anything.

0:26:220:26:24

Anything that you do say may be given in evidence.

0:26:240:26:26

Just pop your arms out like that for me.

0:26:260:26:29

I need to get your passport, OK?

0:26:340:26:36

-It's in the car.

-OK.

0:26:360:26:38

Just wait there. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

0:26:380:26:41

Why don't take car keys?

0:26:410:26:42

-Your car keys are in the flat, yeah?

-Yeah.

-OK, come in there.

0:26:420:26:45

Inside is Slyzauskas's shocked childminder and his young daughter.

0:26:460:26:51

Hello, madam, are you all right?

0:26:510:26:52

Do you speak English OK?

0:26:520:26:54

No. No. No English, OK.

0:26:540:26:55

Slyzauskas is getting increasingly agitated.

0:26:550:26:59

BLEEP.

0:26:590:27:00

Have we got his keys?

0:27:010:27:03

I just need your passport.

0:27:040:27:06

He may have come across a little bit aggressive.

0:27:080:27:10

I don't think that was the case.

0:27:100:27:12

I just think he was just upset and he realised he'd been caught.

0:27:120:27:15

He might have been a bit upset with himself which isn't nice for him to

0:27:150:27:20

show that in front of his daughter.

0:27:200:27:22

Obviously we're going to take them away from their family.

0:27:220:27:24

We're going to send them back to a place where

0:27:240:27:27

they've left, that they don't want to be.

0:27:270:27:29

So it's understandable in some respects that they're going to get upset about it.

0:27:290:27:32

You be happy?

0:27:340:27:36

It's my family here.

0:27:360:27:37

Yeah.

0:27:370:27:38

Right, first of all, calm.

0:27:380:27:40

-Yeah, yeah.

-Be calm, OK?

0:27:400:27:42

-OK, OK.

-If you're not calm, OK...

0:27:420:27:45

Just coming out with one now.

0:27:450:27:47

Stand by.

0:27:470:27:48

-Just calm yourself down.

-OK, OK.

0:27:480:27:50

If you've committed a crime and you've been sentenced or you're due to be in court for that crime,

0:27:520:27:58

you've got to take responsibility for it and go.

0:27:580:28:01

You understand that it's a European Arrest Warrant from Lithuania, OK?

0:28:080:28:12

That's why you've been arrested, OK?

0:28:120:28:14

-You understand that.

-OK.

0:28:140:28:15

Just need his coat.

0:28:170:28:19

The wanted man is taken to Hereford custody suite.

0:28:210:28:24

Upon arresting him he was a little bit upset.

0:28:300:28:33

Quite agitated, to be fair to him.

0:28:340:28:36

Why we wanted to handcuff him quite quickly just to get control of him.

0:28:370:28:40

To be fair, he's calmed down now he's got into the custody block.

0:28:400:28:44

But we'll see how we get on putting him in.

0:28:440:28:46

-FB?

-Fingerprinting, it should say.

-Oh, its FP!

0:28:460:28:49

The minute we arrest somebody a clock starts ticking.

0:28:530:28:57

It's a police clock, effectively.

0:28:570:28:59

We've got a certain amount of time that we can deal with this individual.

0:29:000:29:03

And within 24 hours we have to get him to a Magistrates' Court.

0:29:030:29:07

On this particular occasion it was Westminster Magistrates' Court.

0:29:080:29:11

And rightly so. He needs to be processed quickly.

0:29:110:29:13

But similarly we need to abide by the rules we've got,

0:29:130:29:16

make sure it's an effective arrest and...

0:29:160:29:18

..he doesn't get off with anything. He knows what's going on.

0:29:200:29:22

He is going to need an interpreter.

0:29:220:29:24

-Yeah.

-But he understands the principle of what's happened.

0:29:240:29:27

It's a European Arrest Warrant.

0:29:270:29:28

It's ultimately for two counts of theft from dwelling.

0:29:280:29:31

Officers in custody suites in the UK have become increasingly used to

0:29:310:29:35

dealing with foreign offenders.

0:29:350:29:38

Whilst they're treated with courtesy and offered an interpreter,

0:29:380:29:41

they're left in no doubt that they're not welcome here.

0:29:410:29:44

OK, can you explain to this gentleman that my name is Sergeant O'Reilly?

0:29:440:29:49

He's obviously just been booked in by my colleague but I'm going to run

0:29:490:29:52

through the rest of the assessment.

0:29:520:29:54

The process has to be done properly.

0:29:540:29:57

We've done these arrest warrants so frequently now you kind of get a way

0:29:570:30:01

of knowing what you need to do and when you need to do it.

0:30:010:30:04

Vilius Slyzauskas will soon be taken to London to appear in a Westminster

0:30:040:30:10

extradition court.

0:30:100:30:12

For Karl and Danny, another European Arrest Warrant has been successfully served.

0:30:120:30:17

We're not here to make any mistakes, you know?

0:30:170:30:19

We've got a duty to the people that this guy's burgled to make sure that

0:30:190:30:23

he's brought to justice.

0:30:230:30:25

Back in 2011,

0:30:360:30:38

police in Amsterdam were on the hunt for a dangerous fugitive.

0:30:380:30:42

Armed robber Sean Devalda had gone on the run four years earlier

0:30:420:30:47

after a robbery on a cash transit van was foiled by police in Salford.

0:30:470:30:52

Jeroen Poelert and his crack team of detectives were determined that this

0:30:520:30:56

fugitive would be tracked down.

0:30:560:30:59

We got the information that he was here in the neighbourhood,

0:30:590:31:02

he should be. That he was very violent and maybe armed.

0:31:020:31:07

So that...

0:31:070:31:08

That worries us.

0:31:090:31:11

So we put extra effort on this case and we start an

0:31:110:31:17

investigation, so a whole team is focusing to get the person.

0:31:170:31:23

Inspector Remco van Huys was in charge of the hunt.

0:31:230:31:27

He discovered Devalda was using a mobile phone in a rural area 20 miles from Amsterdam.

0:31:270:31:33

We were able to trace down in this area,

0:31:330:31:36

this is Kortenhoef in Holland,

0:31:360:31:38

it's not a very busy area so we had a bit of a problem...

0:31:380:31:42

..to locate him.

0:31:430:31:45

But we knew that his telephone was somewhere around here.

0:31:450:31:47

To find somebody...

0:31:470:31:49

..when you look back it's always easy

0:31:500:31:52

but when you begin, you have nothing.

0:31:520:31:54

You have only a name and the information from abroad.

0:31:540:31:58

Yes, we think he is in your neighbourhood.

0:31:580:32:01

And you just start.

0:32:010:32:03

It's like a big puzzle and you only need one piece

0:32:040:32:08

and then you make it bigger.

0:32:080:32:10

And in this case we used his telephone.

0:32:100:32:14

But whilst they knew that Devalda was in the area,

0:32:160:32:19

Remco and his team were struggling to pinpoint his exact location.

0:32:190:32:23

The phone taps gave us the information that he was going to flee to Spain,

0:32:240:32:28

to Tenerife,

0:32:280:32:30

at the beginning of February so we had to move rather quickly.

0:32:300:32:35

It was time to switch tactics.

0:32:360:32:39

Using old-fashioned surveillance, the undercover cops

0:32:390:32:42

had to spot the fugitive in person.

0:32:420:32:45

We saw him coming out of one of the houses and then it was for us the

0:32:450:32:50

point, OK, now we are 100% sure that he's in the house.

0:32:500:32:53

So we tried to, we start our preparations to arrest him.

0:32:540:33:00

But in the four years since Devalda had fled,

0:33:000:33:02

his appearance had changed drastically.

0:33:020:33:05

We asked our British colleagues to come over

0:33:050:33:08

because we knew that he had false passports,

0:33:080:33:11

so we also wanted someone who could identify him.

0:33:110:33:15

To help Dutch police make sure they had the right man,

0:33:160:33:19

the National Crime Agency dispatched Graham Roberts to the scene.

0:33:190:33:24

They asked whether I could go over to the Netherlands

0:33:240:33:26

to give a briefing to the Dutch national police,

0:33:260:33:31

to give them an understanding of who Sean was and to explain to them

0:33:310:33:35

how much of a high-profile individual he was.

0:33:350:33:38

The Dutch police's elite SWAT team

0:33:430:33:45

were called in and readied themselves to strike.

0:33:450:33:48

We were so close, we could smell him.

0:33:480:33:51

We thought that we'd...

0:33:510:33:52

..be able to move in on him.

0:33:530:33:55

Could the dangerous fugitive's years on the run finally be over?

0:33:550:33:58

In Leeds, officers Dave Lockwood and Tom Allen from West Yorkshire Police

0:34:070:34:12

regularly search out foreign criminals wanted by police in their native country.

0:34:120:34:18

Tonight they're looking for a member of a serious organised crime gang

0:34:180:34:21

involved in the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs.

0:34:210:34:25

The criminal they're after was convicted in Poland

0:34:270:34:30

and still has seven months of her prison sentence left to serve.

0:34:300:34:34

The sort of numbers we're talking about here is 6,000g of pure amphet.

0:34:360:34:40

So, a good level.

0:34:420:34:44

The offences date back to 2000, 1st of January 2000,

0:34:440:34:49

and go right through to...

0:34:490:34:50

..March 2007.

0:34:510:34:53

Poland wants to put this fugitive back behind bars.

0:34:540:34:58

West Yorkshire's police investigation has led them to this house

0:35:000:35:05

where they've found a Polish grandmother who speaks no English.

0:35:050:35:09

We're looking for Sylwia Sokolowska.

0:35:090:35:12

Is that yourself?

0:35:120:35:14

No? What's your name?

0:35:140:35:15

-ID card?

-Er...

0:35:160:35:18

Or passport?

0:35:180:35:19

SHE SPEAKS POLISH

0:35:210:35:22

Yeah, do you want to ring somebody,

0:35:250:35:26

a son or daughter that speaks English?

0:35:260:35:28

If not we can get Language Line.

0:35:280:35:30

The woman has called her daughter to translate.

0:35:330:35:37

What's your mum called, please?

0:35:370:35:39

Sylwia...

0:35:390:35:42

And what's her surname? Sokolowska.

0:35:420:35:45

Right, can I ask whereabouts do you live?

0:35:450:35:47

Are you local?

0:35:470:35:49

The woman's denied her name but Tom's speaking to the daughter

0:35:490:35:53

who has confirmed it is the wanted person.

0:35:530:35:55

I don't think it's malicious from her mother.

0:35:550:35:57

I think it's just poor English.

0:35:570:35:59

The woman's name is confirmed as Sylwia Analia Sokolowska.

0:35:590:36:03

She IS the one they're looking for.

0:36:030:36:04

Would that be OK, if you could?

0:36:040:36:06

Just stay on the line. What I'm going to do,

0:36:080:36:10

I'm going to pass you back to your mum.

0:36:100:36:11

If you can just...

0:36:110:36:13

If you just explain to her for now

0:36:130:36:15

that there is a warrant that's been issued in Poland for her arrest,

0:36:150:36:21

she doesn't need to worry,

0:36:210:36:23

and we'll explain in more details when the family member turns up and can translate for us. All right?

0:36:230:36:30

Tell her not to panic or get upset.

0:36:300:36:31

I don't like it when there's little kids in t'house.

0:36:340:36:36

You know, a three, four-year-old and we're going to be taking her grandma away.

0:36:390:36:43

Another family member who lives close by has come to translate.

0:36:430:36:47

If you can just tell her,

0:36:480:36:50

I have given her the documents which explains it.

0:36:500:36:52

The Polish authorities have issued an arrest warrant for the offence of

0:36:550:37:01

supplying controlled drugs.

0:37:010:37:03

OK? What Poland are telling us is that they want Sylwia to go back to

0:37:030:37:08

serve the rest of her sentence now.

0:37:080:37:10

She's going to be under arrest...

0:37:110:37:13

..for the offence.

0:37:150:37:16

As she begins to understand that justice has finally caught up with her,

0:37:200:37:24

the convicted drug dealer starts to get upset.

0:37:240:37:27

There is a human consequence and I feel for the family who lost

0:37:280:37:32

Grandmother. But she brought that about, not West Yorkshire Police,

0:37:320:37:36

SHE brought that about.

0:37:360:37:37

As she is arrested and taken from the house,

0:37:400:37:42

her family is also devastated.

0:37:430:37:45

Everyone's crying. The lady we've arrested's crying, daughter's crying,

0:37:470:37:51

the little girl's crying.

0:37:510:37:53

They're thinking this is the last time they're going to see her now

0:37:530:37:56

because we're going to take her, she's going to go to police station,

0:37:560:37:59

she's going to go to court, because they can't pay the bail she's going to go to prison.

0:37:590:38:02

So, they're really worried that she's going to, from there, go to Poland.

0:38:020:38:05

So unless they can get to London to see her at court or in prison,

0:38:050:38:08

they're really worried that obviously we're taking Grandma away.

0:38:080:38:11

She is wanted for some serious offences so there's nothing else

0:38:130:38:17

we're going to do bar arrest her and take her in.

0:38:170:38:20

This example with Sylwia demonstrates how police officers who are rightly

0:38:200:38:25

executing that warrant to extradite Sylwia so she could face justice

0:38:250:38:31

carried out that, but did it in such a way that was sympathetic to the

0:38:310:38:35

family and delicate, particularly where the granddaughter was concerned.

0:38:350:38:40

All right?

0:38:400:38:41

If you were to see her out in the street or see her in the supermarket,

0:38:430:38:46

you wouldn't think the offences that's been put with her, or...

0:38:460:38:50

..what we've been told she's done.

0:38:510:38:52

No, you certainly wouldn't. I certainly wouldn't.

0:38:520:38:54

Just up to where Dave is, please.

0:38:550:38:57

At the police station, the drug dealing grandmother's fingerprints are taken and sent

0:39:020:39:07

to Poland to confirm her identity.

0:39:070:39:10

For now she'll be locked in a cell and held in custody until she can be

0:39:100:39:14

brought before a judge and her case decided.

0:39:140:39:17

Though it's come as a shock to the woman and her family,

0:39:180:39:21

the police make no apologies for this arrest.

0:39:210:39:24

Drug dealers perpetuate misery

0:39:250:39:27

and the crime that funds that drug addiction.

0:39:270:39:31

So all drug dealers present as a single offender but I argue

0:39:310:39:36

that behind every drug dealer is a massive wave of criminality and misery

0:39:360:39:42

brought about by their greed and drug-trafficking.

0:39:420:39:45

It's the early hours of the morning

0:39:500:39:52

in a small village on the outskirts of Amsterdam.

0:39:520:39:55

A Dutch SWAT team is preparing to seize armed robber Sean Devalda.

0:39:560:40:00

He's a violent criminal who's been on the run for four years.

0:40:030:40:07

This is a dangerous operation.

0:40:070:40:10

Because of the difficulty to walk to the house and because we know it was

0:40:100:40:13

a very large criminal, we thought maybe there were weapons involved,

0:40:130:40:18

we didn't do the arrest ourselves but we asked our special raid team.

0:40:180:40:22

Graham Roberts from the National Crime Agency

0:40:240:40:27

was standing by to identify the wanted man.

0:40:270:40:30

It was around 4am or 5am.

0:40:300:40:32

The SWAT team had got in place.

0:40:320:40:35

My colleague and I were sat in a vehicle quite close by

0:40:350:40:38

and listening to a Dutch commentary and not understanding a word,

0:40:380:40:42

and just hoping for the positive words that he'd been arrested.

0:40:420:40:47

EXPLOSION, GLASS SHATTERS

0:40:470:40:49

But even after the arrest was made,

0:40:520:40:54

the Dutch team weren't sure who they'd captured.

0:40:540:40:59

We didn't recognise him from the picture

0:40:590:41:01

when he was arrested by the raid team.

0:41:010:41:02

But our British colleague was there.

0:41:020:41:04

At first Graham found it difficult to confirm the arrested man was indeed Devalda.

0:41:050:41:10

I remember walking through the door,

0:41:100:41:12

lots of police officers around,

0:41:120:41:14

and there was an individual there who looked nothing like the photo,

0:41:140:41:18

the mugshot, that I'd seen of Sean Devalda.

0:41:180:41:20

And then I was passed an Irish passport.

0:41:200:41:23

It was only then when I had a look at the Irish passport

0:41:230:41:25

and some of the documents, that I took over, I then started to see a striking resemblance.

0:41:250:41:30

And when I asked the officers, could I have a good look in Devalda's eyes?

0:41:300:41:35

It was then that I realised that that was him.

0:41:350:41:37

Detective Chief Inspector Aaron Duggan from Greater Manchester Police

0:41:380:41:42

had been hunting Devalda for four years.

0:41:420:41:46

He flew to Holland to bring the fugitive home to justice.

0:41:460:41:50

When I told him he was under arrest I could see a marked change in his

0:41:500:41:54

body language. He looked at the floor

0:41:540:41:56

and that's when I knew that it had dawned on him

0:41:560:41:58

that he was going to prison.

0:41:580:41:59

For the Dutch police, the operation to track down one of Europe's most

0:42:010:42:05

wanted was a great success.

0:42:050:42:08

It was very satisfying.

0:42:080:42:09

We were quite happy with the results.

0:42:090:42:11

The message is, don't come over here because you're not safe here as well.

0:42:110:42:14

EXPLOSION, GLASS SHATTERS

0:42:140:42:17

After four years on the run,

0:42:250:42:27

Sean Devalda was sentenced to six years in prison.

0:42:270:42:31

He was released in 2014 but is now back inside for drugs offences.

0:42:310:42:36

In June 2016, burglar Vilius Slyzauskas was sent back to Lithuania after losing his

0:42:360:42:43

appeal against extradition.

0:42:430:42:44

Drug dealing grandmother Sylwia Sokolowska should have been extradited

0:42:460:42:50

back to Poland in November 2016.

0:42:500:42:54

But she went on the run before she could be put on a military flight

0:42:540:42:57

back to a Polish prison.

0:42:570:42:58

There's now another warrant out for her arrest in the UK.

0:43:000:43:04

The search for a member of a Salford gang leads the UK's National Crime Agency and detectives from Amsterdam police to a small village in the Netherlands. Once the wanted man has been sighted, a Dutch Swat team are called in to arrest the British fugitive, who has been on the run for four years.

In Leeds a grandmother with a history of dealing in amphetamines back home in Poland is shocked to discover that West Yorkshire police have tracked her down while she babysits her granddaughter.

A UK-wide week-long operation targeting foreign criminals leads to the arrest of another Polish drug dealer on the run to escape a six-year jail sentence.

And former undercover officer Peter Bleksley lifts the lid on what it is like to be a man in hiding.