Yard's Most Wanted arrested in Amsterdam

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One of Scotland Yard's most wanted men was arrested when police swooped in Amsterdam today.

Anthony Mills, 41, of Beckenham, south east London, is suspected of being a key figure in an international skunk cannabis smuggling ring.

The fugitive has been linked to a drugs cartel that brought drugs worth at least £62 million into Britain hidden in shipments of flowers.

The arrest came after police appealed to the public to help them track six wanted fugitives suspected of being in Holland.

Mills, who would have been a seventh fugitive, was pulled from publicity at the last minute as the net was already closing around him.

He was held when police stopped a car on the Admiraal de Ruyterweg, a road to the west of Amsterdam at about 1pm.

A spokesman for the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) said Mills now faces extradition to the UK where he will be passed to the Metropolitan Police.

Twelve members of the skunk cannabis smuggling ring face long jail terms when they are sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Monday.

They were brought to justice after a 14-month undercover inquiry into a network that cornered the skunk cannabis market in south east England.

Police discovered the gang was so successful members were left swimming in cash, leaving a forgotten £60,000 to go rotten in a garage.

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

Fugitives are attracted to the area because it is English-speaking with established, and partially-legalised, drug and prostitution networks.

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

The other six men wanted for serious crimes committed in Britain, including drug smuggling, selling weapons, robbery, manslaughter and rape remain on the run.

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, fugitive kick-boxer Adam Hart, a suspected cocaine trafficker from Essex, 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.