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Polish fugitive arrested in Surrey after 18 years on run

A Polish fugitive who fled to the UK while he was wanted in connection with suspected drugs and weapons offences has been found living in a leafy Surrey suburb after 18 years on the run.

Adam Danielewicz, 43, had been using a dead man’s name to avoid authorities in his home country until he was finally arrested at an address in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey Police said.

The force said Mr Danielewicz was wanted on a European Arrest Warrant on charges of drug trafficking, firearms possession and fraud. He had been sentenced in his absence to six-and-a-half years in prison at Polish court.

Surrey Police said it was not “prepared to comment” on Mr Danielewicz’s personal circumstances while he was living in the UK, nor on his crimes in Poland, which they said were “a matter for the Polish authorities”.

They declined to say why it had taken police so long to find Mr Danielewicz, who was tracked down by detectives in Surrey last Friday.

On Saturday, Mr Danielewicz appeared at Westminster magistrates’ court where he was remanded into custody.

Police said that he was currently in the process of being extradited back to Poland.

A statement from the force said: “He had been sentenced for six-and-a-half years by a Polish court in his absence and the process of him starting to serve that sentence will now begin.”

Det Sgt Martyn Linton, who led the operation that led to his arrest, said: “This is a significant arrest for very serious offences that have taken place in Poland. Danielewicz thought that he could evade justice by hiding in Surrey under a false name.

“We work with colleagues from around the world on a daily basis and Surrey is not a safe place for fugitives to hide. We will find you”.

Surrey Police said it could not disclose the name that Mr Danielewicz had used to evade authorities. “We are not prepared to give the false name he was using because it is part of an ongoing proceeding,” a spokesman said.

In February, the Government indicated that it would no longer seek to remain a part of the European Arrest Warrant scheme in a future trade deal with the European Union.

The warrant enables European criminals to be arrested anywhere in the bloc and extradited back to their homeland.

But the UK said that it wanted to introduce a new set of “fast-track extradition arrangements” that it claimed would provide “greater safeguards”.

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