Britain

Stephen Lawrence murder suspect turned drug kingpin captured in Barcelona

Joe Roberts for Metro.co.uk

Stephen Lawrence murder suspect turned 'drug kingpin' captured in Barcelona
Jamie Acourt, 41, cuts a different figure to the man who appeared at the Stephen Lawrence inquiry in 1998 (Picture: NCA)

One of Britains most wanted fugitives has been captured in Barcelona.

Jamie Acourt was one of six youths suspected to have taken part in the racist murder of 18-year-old Stephen Lawrence 25 years ago.

He was arrested by armed officers outside a gym in the Spanish city following a huge police search to find him.

The 41-year-old from south London, is believed to be a kingpin behind a massive drugs operation.

Stephen Lawrence murder suspect turned 'drug kingpin' captured in Barcelona
Jamie Acourt, 41, pictured after his arrest in Barcelona (Picture: NCA)
UNSPECIFIED - UNDATED: This handout image provided by the Metropolitan Police shows Stephen Lawrence. Gary Dobson and David Norris were today found guilty at the Old Bailey of the murder of teenager Stephen Lawrence, 18 years after he was stabbed to death at a south London bus stop. New scientific evidence tied both men to the murder and after today's verdict, they are now due to face sentencing tomorrow. (Photo by Metropolitan Police via Getty Images)
Hes suspected of being involved in the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence 25 years ago (Picture: Getty)
Rex Features Ltd. do not claim any Copyright or License of the attached image Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX/Shutterstock (601224e) Jamie Acourt, one of the five suspects in the Stephen Lawrence murder case in Eltham in 1993, denies any involvement in the murder claiming he was somewhere else at the time, in the 'Tonight with Trevor McDonald' TV programme shown in 1999 Stephen Lawrence murder case
Jamie Acourt was one of Britains most wanted fugitives, believed to behind a massive drugs operation (Picture: Rex)
CORRECTED VERSION Three of the five murder suspects David Norris, (left to right) Jamie Acourt and Luke Knight, as they leave the Stephen Lawrence Murder Inquiry held at Hannibal House, Elephant and Castle today (Tuesday). See PA Story INQUIRY Lawrence. Photo by Justin Williams/PA
Three of the five murder suspects: David Norris, (left to right) Jamie Acourt and Luke Knight, as they leave the inquiry (Picture: PA)
Mandatory Credit: Photo by HORTON/REX/Shutterstock (290684k) JAMIE ACOURT STEPHEN LAWRENCE INQUIRY AT ELEPHANT AND CASTLE, LONDON, BRITAIN - 1998
Jamie Acourt, pictured at the Stephen Lawrence inquiry in 1998, was found on the run in Barcelona (Picture: REX)

He is the 81st fugitive to be located out of 96 publicised through Operation Captura – the multi-agency initiative between the National Crime Agency, Crimestoppers and the Spanish authorities.

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Acourt, who was apprehended on a European Arrest Warrant, will now appear at court in Madrid early next week for an extradition hearing.

Ian Cruxton, Head of International Operations for the NCA, said: Acourt thought he could evade capture but as a result of an intelligence-led operation his days on the run have ended. We were able to direct the Spanish authorities to his location in Barcelona.

Our ability to share information and work at speed with our international partners ensures there is no safe haven for fugitives. We will never stop pursuing these individuals.

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