NCA DG: “Spain is a vital partner in the fight against organised crime”

20 April 2018

National Crime Agency Director General Lynne Owens visited Madrid this week to focus on developing our partnerships with Spanish law enforcement, and celebrating the important successes that we have had together, tackling modern slavery, illegal immigration and drugs.

Serious and organised crime is a global phenomenon. Threats such as cybercrime, modern slavery and organised immigration crime do not respect borders and cannot be tackled in isolation, and the UK and Spain work hand in hand, every day, to tackle the scourge.

During her visit the DG met her counterparts from a range of Spanish law enforcement organisations

Lynne Owens said:

“I'm delighted to be here to meet my Spanish colleagues and discuss our incredibly productive relationship with them.

“Spain is undoubtedly one of our most important partners in the global fight against organised crime. Every single day, the NCA works closely with Spanish law enforcement agencies, disrupting criminal activity. Such work protects the public in the UK, Spain and beyond.

“Our ability to share intelligence, biometrics and other data at speed with our European allies is essential to our shared security. We do this with Spain now, and we will ensure that our cooperation continues productively and effectively after the UK leaves the EU. This benefits us all."

Some of the key successes of this joint work between the NCA and Spain are:

- The arrest and extradition of 80 out of 96 fugitives wanted by the UK as part of our campaign Operation Captura. They were wanted for a range of serious offences, including murder, firearms offences, child sexual exploitation, fraud, drugs.

- Last month 39 women, many under the age of 18, were freed from sexual exploitation at the hands of a Nigerian organised crime gang in Spain as a result of a joint operation involving the NCA and Spanish and Nigerian law enforcement partners. A total of 89 people were arrested, including one in Manchester.

- In October 2017 an international law enforcement operation involving the NCA and Spain resulted in the seizure of close to four tonnes of cocaine from a vessel in the mid-Atlantic. This deprived international crime groups of revenue potentially running into the hundreds of millions of pounds.

Lynne added:

“The UK will continue to remain an active security, law enforcement and criminal justice partner with our European counterparts. This relationship is essential for both the UK and our European partners.”

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