Escaped drug smuggler is found dead in London flat

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The Independent Online

A drugs baron turned intelligence service informer who escaped from an open prison six years into a 21-year jail term has been found dead in a London flat, police said yesterday.

Roddy "Popeye" McLean embarrassed the Government when he went on the run from Leyhill open prison in Gloucestershire last November amid claims that he had been helped to escape by MI6.

Described as "one of Scotland's most dangerous prisoners", he was found guilty in 1997 of attempting to smuggle £10m worth of cannabis from Spain to Scotland by sea.

Fingerprints taken from the body of man discovered in a bed at a property in Streatham Place, south London, on 14 January were yesterday confirmed as those of McLean.

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said post- mortem tests showed McLean had died from natural causes and the case has been referred to the coroner.

Police said that inquiries would continue to discover where McLean, 59, had been during his absence from prison. He was thought to have fled to Mozambique where he had "business interests". There were even suggestions that he was operating as an MI6 agent there.