Public urged to help trace fugitive Britons in Amsterdam

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The Independent Online

Police appealed to the public today to help them trace six suspected criminals believed to be hiding in Amsterdam.

Senior officers suspect the Dutch city has become a popular haven for crooks looking to keep out of the reach of the law.



The move, orchestrated by charity Crimestoppers, follows in the footsteps of a similar targeting the "Costa del Crime" of southern Spain.



Police are seeking six men wanted for serious crimes committed in Britain including drug smuggling, selling weapons, robbery, manslaughter and rape.



They are:



* Brian Bradshaw, 67, of Surrey, who absconded from prison while serving an eight-and-a-half-year jail term for manslaughter. Bradshaw, who has tattoos of "Charlie" and "love" on his arms, disappeared while on a work project. He is also known as Laurence Loft, George Welch, David Flett and Charlie Harrison.



* Brian Waite, 39, of Leeds, who took part in a £25,000 cash van robbery and was jailed for 11 years for robbery, arson and handling stolen goods. He is 5ft 11in robber and of medium build with green eyes and has been on the run since 2006. He is also known as Michael Birch and Anthony Waite.



* Dion Lee, 33, of Preston, is wanted by police in Lancashire over claims that he smuggled class A drugs, guns and ammunition. He is Afro-Caribbean, 5ft 10in, with a 1in scar in his right eyebrow.



* Edward Morton, 36, of Leeds, is suspected of being a key member of an organised crime gang which smuggles cocaine and amphetamines into Britain. He is 5ft 9in and of medium build with a scar on his chin.



* James Muldoon, 30, of Liverpool, was convicted of stealing goods worth £41,000 from two lorries at a Grantham depot in which a security guard was attacked. He was jailed for 12 months in his absence in 2007.



* Rezgar Zengana, 27, was convicted at the High Court in Glasgow in 2008 of raping a 25-year-old woman. He posed as a taxi driver and attacked her at a house in December 2006 after picking her up from a Christmas party.



Last year one of Scotland Yard's most wanted men, Noel Cunningham, was caught in Amsterdam after several years on the run.



He escaped from a prison van in 2003 as he was escorted from Brixton Prison to face trial accused of a £1 million armed robbery.



In December, wanted fugitive Essex kick-boxer Adam Hart, a suspected cocaine trafficker, was arrested in the Dutch city.



He allegedly tried to eat a mobile phone sim card as police discovered thousands of euros stuffed in his pants.



In 2006, James Hurley, who escaped while serving life for shooting Pc Frank Mason, was also caught in Holland, during a drugs raid in The Hague.



Dave Cording, of Crimestoppers, said: "We are hoping that the public respond as well to this appeal as they have done for our campaign in Spain, which has resulted in a high number of arrests.



"This success has proved that there is no safe hiding place from the eyes of the law and, with the public's help, we can flush out these dangerous criminals from wherever they are hiding."



David Armond, of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), said: "Our experience in Spain proves that these campaigns make ex-pat communities a hostile environment for UK fugitives.



"We have already achieved some outstanding results with our Dutch partners. This appeal aims to build on this success and ensure that the Netherlands is not seen as an easy hiding place for UK criminals."



Liesbeth Huyzer, Police Commissioner for Amsterdam-Amstelland, said 23 wanted Britons have been arrested in the area over the past 18 months.



She said: "We don't want these criminals to hide out in our region and that's why we are asking the help of the public to get information to arrest more of these fugitives."



Lord Ashcroft, chairman of Crimestoppers, said police needed the help of the public to trace the men.



He said: "These criminals think they're safe hiding in the Netherlands, but it takes only one call to Crimestoppers to bring them back to the UK to face justice."



* Anyone with information about the wanted men should call 0800 7000 in the Netherlands or 0800 555 111 in Britain.