Cops, Interpol catch UK fugitive in Midrand

Johannesburg - A convicted drug trafficker and fraudster on the run from the UK, was arrested in Midrand by police and Interpol, police spokesperson Lieutenant General Solomon Makgale said on Sunday.

Martin Evans, 52, from Swansea in Wales, had been on the run since 2011 when he failed to return to prison after being given a short release of a few days.

He was serving 21 years for conspiracy to supply cocaine, and fraudulent trading.

Makgale said investigators from the National Crime Agency (NCA) told Interpol that he was in South Africa and surveillance was conducted.

He was arrested at a security complex in Midrand on Saturday night.

He will appear in the Pretoria Regional Court on Monday for a procedural extradition hearing.

The announcement included congratulations to the team from national police commissioner, General Riah Phiyega.

"Both the Crime Intelligence and Interpol teams worked tirelessly to honor the request our British counterparts and we applaud them for this," she said.

Hank Cole, head of international operations for the NCA, said the "exceptional level of collaboration and intelligence sharing with the South African Police Service led to the capture of Evans".

It showed that fugitives can't hide, he said.

British High Commissioner to South Africa, Judith Macgregor, said: "This arrest is testimony to the close working relationship between the UK and South Africa on security issues including tackling drug trafficking, organised and fiscal crime. This includes a wide range of bilateral co-operation projects in law enforcement in South Africa and other parts of Africa."

According to news reports authorities issued various appeals over the years thinking he may be in Cyprus.

He had reportedly also duped investors in an ostrich farm scam.