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Drug trafficker who fled UK for Thailand is tracked down by North Yorkshire Police and jailed

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A convicted drug trafficker who fled to Thailand when he was wanted by police has today been brought home so he can be jailed.

Jailed: Fugitive Ross Hemington

Ross Hemington, of Darlington, was tracked down following an investigation by North Yorkshire Police’s Force Intelligence Bureau that spanned two continents.

The 33-year-old was part of a drugs gang that imported tens of thousands of pounds of cocaine into the UK from India, hidden in fake designer handbags.

North Yorkshire Police led an investigation into the trafficking, which resulted in Hemington and other gang members going to prison in 2011 for importing and possessing class A drugs.

After being released from prison, he was arrested again for possessing significant amount of cocaine. In January 2016, he was jailed for four years for possession with intent to supply.

Following his release from that sentence, he broke the terms of his release licence. North Yorkshire Police then launched investigation to find him, and issued a wanted appeal containing his custody photograph.

The case was picked up by the Force Intelligence Bureau, which has officers who specialise in locating wanted criminals who abscond abroad.

They used a range of investigative techniques and worked with Interpol and Thai authorities to close in on Hemington.

He was arrested last month by Thai police and held in a Thai prison before being brought back to UK today. He will be taken directly to prison and could now face an additional spell in jail for breaking the terms of his licence.

Intelligence management officer Paul Somerville, one of the officers who led the investigation, said: “Hemington has a history of serious drug offences and had been part of a gang that trafficked huge amounts of class A drugs into England.

“Prison licences are designed to keep people and communities safe, so when a serious offender like Hemington breaks these conditions and flees the country, we try all means at our disposal to find them and bring them to justice.

“While we cannot reveal details about the investigative techniques we use, we employ a wide range of methods and run many lines of enquiry at the same time to trace people who don’t want to be found.

“When criminals flee justice, they run and they hide, but they spend every day looking over their shoulder. And one of those days, we will be there.”

Last modified: September 16, 2020