ONE OF Lancashire’s most wanted men has been arrested in Nigeria after being on the run for three years.
Dion Lee, 34, who is originally from the Lancaster area, is wanted by the Operation Greengage Team for his alleged involvement in the importation of cocaine, cannabis, firearms and ammunition into the United Kingdom from Amsterdam.
He was arrested yesterday (Tuesday 13 September) in Lagos under the power of an international arrest warrant in an intelligence led operation.
Officers from Lancashire Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) have spent years working to trace Lee and intelligence led them to believe he had left the country sometime ago in an effort to evade arrest.
A European arrest warrant was granted in May 2008 because it was believed that he had links with the Netherlands and Amsterdam. This allowed SOCU officers, with the assistance of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, to carry out enquiries through Interpol in order to trace Lee.
Further investigations led officers to Nigeria where Lee was now living and as a result of those enquiries officers in Lagos arrested him early yesterday.
Lancashire SOCU officers will now work closely with the Crown Prosecution Service, SOCA and the Nigerian authorities to secure his extradition back to UK for Lee to face trial at Liverpool Crown Court. He will now be subject to formal extradition proceedings in Nigeria.
Detective Inspector Martin Kane, who led Operation Greengage, said: “Dion Lee has been wanted by the Operation Greengage team since May 2008 but we have been working constantly behind the scenes to locate and arrest him. In partnership with the SOCA Fugitives Unit we have never given up and it is testament to our perseverance that he was arrested in Nigeria yesterday.
“I will now work closely with the CPS to ensure that the appropriate evidence is forwarded to Nigeria for the extradition proceedings to take place.
“Operation Greengage has been protracted and complex investigation. It concerned the importation of class A drugs, firearms and ammunition into the UK. In the past couple of years we have successfully convicted, twenty six people. They have been sentenced in total to more than 330 years in prison.
“Lee’s arrest clearly demonstrates that there is no hiding place and we will continue to work with enforcement agencies across the world to find people who we suspect of being involved in serious criminal activity here in Lancashire.”