Drugs suspect held watching rugby

Kevin Hanley was at a pub in Athens to watch the British and Irish Lions match against Australia when Greek and British officers pounced

Kevin Hanley was at a pub in Athens to watch the British and Irish Lions match against Australia when Greek and British officers pounced

First published in National News © by

A British man wanted in connection with the seizure of millions of pounds of drugs has been caught in a sting operation at a seaside pub in Greece, police said.

Kevin Hanley, 50, was at the pub in Athens to watch the British and Irish Lions match against Australia when Greek and British officers pounced on Saturday.

He had evaded police capture since November, when officers discovered more than £2 million cash and millions of pounds of drugs at a property in Fulham, London.

Officers from Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and the Greek police arrested Hanley on a European warrant for money laundering and conspiracy to supply cocaine, cannabis and amphetamine. Extradition proceedings are now under way.

Greek police told the Associated Press that Hanley had gone to "extensive precautions" to try to avoid arrest, with "frequent changes of address, telephones and cars" - using several dual SIM cell phones and coded text messages.

Brendan Foreman, regional head of investigations at SOCA, said: "These arrests were a direct result of our close co-operation with the Greek authorities.

"Operations like this remind the public that SOCA and its partners will stop at nothing to take down those suspected of being involved in drug trafficking."

Greek national, Chryssi Minadakis, 44, who was living in Fulham at the time of the drugs seizure in November, was also arrested on Saturday.

In the seizure, police found 44.1 pounds (20 kilograms) of cocaine, 33.1 pounds (15 kilograms) of cannabis and 33.1 pounds of amphetamine, as well as £2.1 million in cash.

Five other suspects - four men and one woman - from London, Liverpool, Glasgow and Gloucestershire, have also been arrested in Britain in connection with the operation.

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