DELTASION.com – Richard Wakeling, a drug gang boss from Essex in
England, was arrested in Thailand on Friday (10/2/2023). Wakeling was guilty
of attempting to import £8 million worth of liquid amphetamine into the UK
in April 2016.
Wakeling is one of the most wanted fugitives by the UK’s National Crime
Agency (NCA). He has been a fugitive since January 2018, ahead of his
1. The perpetrator was arrested in a car garage
British organised crime boss arrested in Thailand
— The Guardian (@guardian)
February 11, 2023
According to The Guardian, Wakeling, who lives in the seaside town of Hua
Hin, was arrested by Thai police at a garage in Bangkok, where he collected
his car after it was repaired. He has a passport with another identity.
Currently, Wakeling is in custody and the process of extradition to England
David Coyle, NCA regional manager for Thailand, said Wakeling’s arrest was
an example of how the UK agency was working with its international
“The NCA has been working around the clock to track down Wakeling and
ensure he returns to the UK to serve his prison sentence. I thank the public
prosecutor, Thai police, and the commissioners of the Central Bureau of
Investigation for their hard work in helping us identify and arrest
Wakeling,” Coyle said.
“With our partners at home and abroad, we are committed to doing everything
possible to find those who have fled justice in the UK. This is yet another
example of perpetrators being apprehended because of the NCA’s global reach
and strong relationships with international partners.”
Jacque Beer, the NCA’s head of regional investigations, said the public
response to requests for information had helped trace Wakeling.
“Wakeling’s arrest is the culmination of a worldwide NCA investigation into
his arrest. Wakeling has links to Northern Ireland and the Republic of
Ireland, Canada, Spain, and Thailand,” Beer said.
“We are pursuing these connections and working with partners from all
countries to help build the intelligence picture. We have been supported by
the public, who responded to requests by the media and Crimewatch to provide
intelligence, all of which ultimately led to his arrest.”
2. Drug smuggling
According to the BBC, the investigation into Wakeling began after border
officials stopped a truck traveling up the Channel Tunnel train on April 9,
2016. The truck was filled with plastic drums carrying drugs.
The truck driver was transporting furniture from Italy but stopped in
Ternat in Belgium after being asked to pick up drugs. Wakeling orchestrated
the entire breach.
He was in contact with a drug supplier in the Netherlands and was in
contact with two other British offenders to arrange travel. Authorities
believe Wakeling’s group had arranged at least six other imports before the
breaches were discovered in 2016.
3. The suspect fled the UK
Wakeling fled in January 2018 before his 12-week trial began and was found
guilty and sentenced to 11 years without appearing in court in Chelmsford on
April 9, 2018.
The other suspects in the case are truck drivers Lesley Muffett, Stuart
Davidson, and Darren Keane. All three are punished for their involvement
with Wakeling. Keane was sentenced to 9 years, Davidson was sentenced to 8
years, and Muffett to 6 years.
Wakeling fled in a white Audi Q3 from his Juniper Court home on Beech
Avenue, Brentwood, on January 5, 2018, for Berkshire. Then, Wakeling took
the bus from Heathrow to Glasgow, then took the ferry from Stranraer to
Belfast. A week later the car he had left in Iver, near Slough, was brought
back to his home.
The NCA 2019 issued a plea for help finding Wakeling and released CCTV
footage before his escape.