Fugitive drug suspect joins ranks of UK's most wanted
A man wanted by Leicestershire Police in connection with a cocaine smuggling conspiracy has been named as one of the UK's most wanted.
Mehmet Salih, 41, was arrested in May last year while he was visiting Lincolnshire, allegedly to deliver cocaine and to collect drugs cash.
Officers recovered a large amount of cocaine and Salih, who is a Cypriot national, was found in possession of £20,000.
Crimestoppers and the national Serious Organised Crime Agency, (Soca), yesterday named Mr Salih as one of nine suspects thought to be living in Cyprus.
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They are suspected of involvement in eight other matters, including fraud and sexual assault.
The two organisations have launched Operation Zygos, an appeal to the public to lead them to the suspects.
Sue Langley, Crimestoppers regional manager, said of Mr Salih: "This man is accused of some very serious drug offences. I would urge anyone with information on his whereabouts to contact Crimestoppers anonymously. We only want to know what you know, not who you are."
Mr Salih is 5ft 6in, has brown eyes, short dark brown hair and has a scar by his right eye.
Leicestershire Police have not confirmed further details about what happened after his arrest and how he came to be on the run.
Lord Ashcroft, founder and chairman of Crimestoppers, said: "Operation Zygos is an example of the continuing impact Crimestoppers is having abroad in the fight against crime.
"My hope is that we shall see more success in bringing some of the UK's most wanted fugitives to justice.
"While these suspected criminals will see Cyprus as a safe place to evade law enforcement, my belief is that with the help of the local public and ex-patriate community, these individuals will not be able to escape justice for much longer."
Martin Molloy, deputy director of the Serious Organised Crime Agency, said: "Operation Zygos builds on Soca's close relationship with Cyprus Police, working together to combat criminal threats to the public.
"Fugitives hiding overseas typically remain part of the criminal world, continuing to bring harm to communities locally and beyond.
"Soca and our partners are determined to ensure life on the run is intolerable for them and that they are returned to face justice in the UK."