Two men suspected of plotting to kidnap and murder a female relative who renounced Islam have been arrested.
Mohammed Patman, 54, from Ilford, London, and Darya Khan Safi, 49, from Coventry, were detained by National Crime Agency (NCA) officers at their homes in London and Coventry on Wednesday.
The pair, both originally from Afghanistan, were wanted by the Slovakian authorities for conspiring to murder the 25-year-old woman, who was living in Austria and working in Slovakia at a company she ran with her husband.
The NCA armed operations unit began an investigation into the pair in October after being alerted by the Slovakian authorities of the alleged murder plot.
Officers carried out months of surveillance on the two men as they prepared to make multiple trips to both Austria and Slovakia where, investigators believe, they carried out their own surveillance on the victim.
They were seen blacking out the windows and swapping the tyres for winter tyres on a vehicle they subsequently used to drive to both countries.
Phone and internet records were also obtained, which officers allege show the men discussing the potential murder plot, including planning of events both at home and abroad.
Mr Patman and Mr Safi are being held on European Arrest Warrants and will now face extradition to Slovakia.
They have been remanded in custody until their next appearance at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 12 September.
NCA senior investigating officer Matthew Perfect said: “Patman and Safi were sought by the Slovakian authorities for the extremely serious offence of preparing to commit first degree murder.
“Protecting the British public is a core part of the NCA’s mission and these are two potentially violent individuals who will no longer pose a threat.
“They were arrested as a result of some excellent joint working between the NCA and our partners in Slovakia and throughout Europe.
“Such strong international cooperation is key in allowing us and our partners to pursue the most dangerous criminals across borders.”