Saturday 24 August 2019

UK drug dealer facing 11 year jail term believed to be on the run in Ireland

Organised crime group boss Richard Wakeling is facing an 11-year jail term for trying to import drugs
Photo credit: National Crime Agency/PA Wire
Organised crime group boss Richard Wakeling is facing an 11-year jail term for trying to import drugs Photo credit: National Crime Agency/PA Wire
Undated handout CCTV still issued by the National Crime Agency (NCA) of Richard Wakeling, 52, (left) from Brentwood, Essex Photo credit: National Crime Agency/PA Wire
CCTV still issued by the National Crime Agency (NCA) of Richard Wakeling, 52, (left) from Brentwood, Essex, as he talks to a builder prior to driving off in a white Audi car Photo credit: National Crime Agency/PA Wire

Margaret Davis

CCTV images have been released of a one-legged drug dealer who has been a fugitive for more than a year and is now believed to be on the run in Ireland.

Richard Wakeling (52), from Brentwood, Essex, attempted to import £8m (€9.25m) of liquid amphetamine into the UK in April 2016.

He is said to have family on both sides of the border.

Wakeling fled before his trial in Essex began and was sentenced to 11 years in his absence at Chelmsford Crown Court on April 9 last year.

Yesterday, the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) released CCTV footage of him leaving his home on January 5 last year as investigators continue to try to track him down.

The clip shows him chatting to a workman and getting into his white Audi Q3, which has the registration number EF66 ZWR.

He left Essex that day and travelled through Iver in Buckinghamshire, before catching a bus from Heathrow to Glasgow and taking a ferry from Stranraer to Belfast.

The NCA said he has family in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Canada and Thailand. A week after he disappeared, his car was driven back to his home in Essex.

“Wakeling has been on the run for well over a year now and knows we are still looking for him,” said NCA operations manager Paul Green.

“He should also know we will do everything in our power to bring him back to serve his sentence.

Undated handout CCTV still issued by the National Crime Agency (NCA) of Richard Wakeling, 52, (left) from Brentwood, Essex
Photo credit: National Crime Agency/PA Wire
Undated handout CCTV still issued by the National Crime Agency (NCA) of Richard Wakeling, 52, (left) from Brentwood, Essex Photo credit: National Crime Agency/PA Wire

“I would urge him to hand himself in. I’ve no doubt someone seeing this appeal will have information about his whereabouts.

“Anyone helping Wakeling or actively frustrating our efforts to find him could be arrested for assisting an offender.

Herald

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