Net closing on fugitive Martin Evans
CRIME-FIGHTING charity Crimestoppers has received information about a wanted fugitive from Swansea believed to be hiding in Cyprus.
But it is still urging anyone who may have seen convicted drug dealer and fraudster Martin Evans to come forward.
Crimestoppers, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) and Cyprus Police (Cypol) launched a campaign two days ago to find nine fugitives believed to be hiding on the Mediterranean island, including 50-year-old Evans.
A Crimestoppers spokeswoman said: "We have had pieces of information passed on to us."
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It is understood there may have been sightings of Evans on Cyprus.
"We are relying heavily on co-operation from Cypol," added the Crimestoppers spokeswoman.
A national newspaper reported yesterday that the nine fugitives are all believed to be living or travelling in the Greek-Cypriot southern part of Cyprus.
The northern third of the island, unrecognised by Britain, is mainly populated by Turkish Cypriots and has no extradition treaty.
Crimestoppers said the Cypriot authorities were bolstering their presence at the crossing between the two parts of the island to try to prevent any of the suspects from reaching the north after the launch of the operation.
Evans, originally from Pontarddulais, is 5ft 11in to 6ft, with a stocky build, blue eyes, short brown and greying hair, a Welsh accent and an "ME" tattoo on his right arm. His aliases include Anthony Hall and Paul Kelly.
Evans had been serving a 24-year sentence — later reduced to 21 — for drug smuggling when he was released on temporary licence to a Swansea address between August 5 and 8 last year.
He failed to return to his Wiltshire prison, and has been missing since. Evans was up for early release from prison this year, despite only being sentenced in 2006.
In 2000, days before facing justice for swindling 115 investors out of £880,000 in a Dunvant ostrich farm scam, he fled to Spain.
He then made millions of pounds smuggling drugs but was caught by the authorities when he flew into JFK airport in New York using a false passport.
When Evans finally faced the music, a jury was told he owned a property in Swansea, a £2 million villa in Marbella and had bank accounts in Latvia, Antigua, Switzerland, Dominica and the UK.
He was later given a separate eight-year jail term for failing to comply with a £4.5 million confiscation order after a judge heard he had made £37 million from his activities.
Evans left Pontarddulais in his early 20s, and set up in legitimate business, including a uPVC window venture in the Skewen area. He was the recipient of a Young Business Person of the Year award.
Last August, the Ministry of Justice declined to say why Evans had been released on licence but said he was not considered a danger to the public.