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Two Most Wanted Men Tracked Down Abroad

Two of Britain's most wanted criminals have been arrested abroad in the space of 24 hours.

Zico Mathews
Zico Mathews
Oct 8, 2009
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Paedophile Stephen Burnell, 56, was tracked down in Crete while banknote forger Ronald Priestley, 69, was detained in Spain.

Burnell, from Scunthorpe, had been on the run from British police after being convicted of offences including attempted rape, indecent assault and indecency with a child.

He was found guilty in March 2007 and sentenced to six years in prison in his absence.

Priestley, from Leeds, is wanted over counterfeit money scams worth more than £4m and was given an eight-year jail term in 2006, also in his absence.

The arrests were the 25th and 26th made as part of Operation Captura, a joint campaign between police and Crimestoppers to find people on the run who are wanted for crimes in the UK.

Lord Ashcroft, founder and chairman of Crimestoppers, said: "To have two most wanted men arrested within 24 hours is an incredible achievement.

"The fact is that more than half the criminals who have been featured under Operation Captura have already been caught.

"Therefore my message to the rest of them, still on the run, is that it doesn't matter which island they are sunning themselves on, they should put their affairs in order and find a tenant for their villas, because there's a good chance they will be soon on their way home."

Priestley is currently being held in Malaga on a European Arrest Warrant, but could return to Britain to face charges within 10 days.

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