Wednesday, 28 June 2017
Fugitive 'swam from Spain to Gibraltar' to hand himself in after seeing appeal about himself on Crimewatch
A soaking wet fugitive wanted in connection with a £1.2million cocaine smuggling inquiry handed himself in to Gibraltar police after swimming from Spain. Jason Waterman, nicknamed Jugs because of his “distinctive” large ears, arrived at the British territory on Monday “dripping” wet. The martial arts and boxing fan, who used to regularly work out in north London gyms, was clutching a bag of soggy clothing.
He gave himself up after watching a Crimewatch appeal that morning to help track him down. Police said Waterman, 32, originally from the Watford area, arrived “without warning” late on Monday night. He refused to say how he had reached Gibraltar, only that it wasn’t through the frontier. But it is believed he swam in a bid to avoid border guards and hand himself into the British Defence Police.
The fugitive, whose nicknames include Jugs and Jumbo, has been accused of being around Bagby airfield, near Thirsk, North Yorkshire, in October 2015 shortly after a plane arrived loaded with drugs. Border Force officers pounced after the light aircraft arrived from Holland. A man was seen running from the scene and was not caught. A briefcase containing seven kilos of cocaine was taken from the airfield. The aircraft pilot was arrested but later found not guilty of importation offences. Workers at the airfield, which is popular with hobby pilots were said to be “gobsmacked” by the drama.
Police appealed for help tracking down Waterman who they described as having a “distinctive” appearance. Waterman told Gibraltar police on Monday he had seen the National Crime Agency's (NCA) appeal on the BBC’s Crimewatch Roadshow that morning and wanted to hand himself in. The NCA said they are now seeking to extradite him under a European Arrest Warrant.
The north east operations manager at NCA, Brian Shaw, said:“It might sound like a cushy number, sitting around watching Crimewatch Roadshow on a Monday morning, but life as a fugitive is hard and stressful. The west side of Gibratar is a massive naval dockyard, so he is more like to have started his journey at Mala Bahia beach in the La Linea De La Concepcion area of Cadiz. This would mean swimming a couple of hundred yards in choppy seas and in a busy shipping area.