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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 27 February 2021

Man extradited from UAE and charged in UK over supply of drugs and firearms

Leon Cullen was returned to home country after fleeing to Dubai three years ago

Leon Cullen, arrested in Dubai in January, has been extradited to the UK. Courtesy of Cheshire Police
Leon Cullen, arrested in Dubai in January, has been extradited to the UK. Courtesy of Cheshire Police

One of Britain’s most wanted men was extradited from the UAE three years after he left the UK for Dubai.

Leon Cullen was arrested in Dubai in January last year and was returned to the UK on Friday.

He was detained in a joint operation carried out by UAE police and Britain’s National Crime Agency, along with Interpol.

Mr Cullen, 33, from Warrington in north-west England, was extradited to Britain by officers from the National Extradition Unit.

He was charged with being the head of a crime group responsible for supplying firearms and drugs.

Senior British police officers thanked the UAE for its help in his arrest and extradition.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the UAE authorities and all those involved for their hard work and commitment to bring Cullen back to the UK,” said Assistant Chief Constable Matt Burton, from Cheshire police.

Deputy director Tom Dowdall, head of NCA International, said: “Leon Cullen believed he could evade capture by fleeing to Dubai.

"However, working with our partners in the UK and the UAE, we were able to locate and apprehend him so he could be returned to the UK.

“This type of global law enforcement co-operation has never been more important to tackling serious and organised crime affecting the UK, and I would like to thank the UAE authorities for all their work which led to Cullen's arrest and extradition.

“Our network of international liaison officers operate across the world and we will continue to work with our policing partners to pursue wanted individuals and ensure nowhere is a safe haven.”

Mr Cullen appeared at Liverpool Magistrates Court on Saturday charged with offences including conspiracy to supply firearms, ammunition and Class A drugs.

He was remanded in custody until his next appearance at Liverpool Crown Court on March 22.

Updated: February 22, 2021 03:12 AM

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