Kirk Bradley, who had been on the run since fleeing a Manchester prison van last July, was arrested with his uncle in Amsterdam on Wednesday, the Serious Organised Crime Agency said yesterday.
He is expected to be returned to the UK to serve a life jail term for leading an underworld gang responsible for a series of shootings, and leaving a hand grenade on the front wall of Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish’s home.
Fugitive Bradley was wearing flip-flops, shorts and a T-shirt when officers raided his luxury apartment in the Bijlmer region of Amsterdam, Soca said.
An international search had been going for months since he escaped the van with Anthony Downes while en-route for trial.
Downes was also arrested in Holland and is fighting extradition proceedings after both were convicted in their absence earlier this year.
Ian Milne, head of European operations for the Serious Organised Crime Agency, said: “Like his partner in crime Anthony Downes discovered only a few weeks ago, there is no such place as a safe haven. Kirk Bradley was shocked when officers burst through the door of his luxury apartment in Amsterdam. He had no idea we were on to him.
“Joint working with Merseyside Police and the Amsterdam police has led to the capture of these two violent and dangerous individuals. They are now back behind bars where they belong. This shows that criminals who flee to other countries are not beyond our reach.”
A specialist arrest team from the Amsterdam police arrested him on a British-issued European arrest warrant.
Arno Julsing, chief of detectives for the Amsterdam police, said: “The collaboration with our British colleagues has so far been fantastic. Together we have managed to apprehend many dozens of dangerous criminals in the last couple of years.
“Our approach works and we have found that the number of fugitives hiding in Amsterdam is decreasing. Our message ‘Amsterdam is not the place to be’ has apparently been heard. Those who still don’t get it will be traced, arrested and handed over to the British authorities.”