Fugitive caught in Tenerife after family members book plane tickets to visit him
A fugitive has been arrested by police in Tenerife after they discovered his loved ones had booked plane tickets to spend the New Year with him.
Joseph Lindsay, 34 and from Glasgow, was wanted by authorities in Scotland for 29 serious crimes punishable by 100 years in prison including drugs trafficking, money laundering and kidnapping.
But now he is languishing in a Spanish prison cell ahead of his expected extradition to Scotland after Spanish police caught him with a European arrest warrant near Tenerife South airport.
Spanish news site El Confidencial reported Lindsay was captured after police stopped his plans for an end-of-year reunion with several members of his family.
Officers managed to stop him near the airport as he went to meet the group off their plane.
A source close to the investigation told the publication that the breakthrough came after several frustrating months of intensive police work in which officers failed to locate Lindsays sunshine hideaway.
Lindsay had avoided mixing with the expat community and made sure he bought nothing in his name.
The tip he was in Tenerife is thought to have come from police in Scotland.
El Confidencial said Spanish police still have no idea about where Lindsays island hideout is, even after his arrest.
However they have identified a place he socialised in from time to time and are hoping it may provide them with new intelligence over the coming weeks.
It is still unclear if Lindsay has agreed to be extradited or has tried to slow up the process by opposing any forced return to Britain.
A Spanish National Police spokesman said in a statement released on Friday, detailing Lindsays arrest: Court authorities in Edinburgh were hunting the 34-year-old man for his alleged participation in illegal activities by a leading international criminal organisation which, between 2011 and 2018, operated among other countries in the UK, Iceland, Holland, United Arab Emirates, Portugal, Spain, China and Mexico.
The fugitive was hiding out in the south of Tenerife where he was allegedly leading and controlling the criminal organization.
Because of the security measures he took, and the means he had at his disposal, he could not be located until just before his arrest.
He was intercepted near the airport thanks to an operation carried out in different parts of the island.
He has been remanded in prison pending his handover to the British authorities.
He is accused of 29 crimes ranging from membership of a criminal organisation, drugs and weapons trafficking, money laundering, computer crime, homicide and serious assault, kidnapping, unlawful detention and the taking of hostages as well as armed robbery.
His gang allegedly smuggled large amounts of cocaine and cannabis resin into the UK and other EU countries and they stood out because of the level of violence they employed, which included the use of firearms.
The crimes he is accused of carry a 100 year prison sentence.
A Police Scotland spokesman confirmed the force were aware of Lindsays detention after it was revealed by Spanish police.
She said: A 34-year-old man was arrested on December 29 at Tenerife airport on a European arrest warrant in connection with serious and organised crime offences.
With additional reporting from Gerard Couzens