Wanted drug baron John Halliday arrested in Philippines after 16 months on the run

John Halliday, who has been arrested in the Philippines
John Halliday, who has been arrested in the Philippines
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A drug baron who fled the UK before standing trial for running a £13m smuggling racket has been arrested in the Philippines.

John Halliday was the ringleader of a gang responsible for importing hundreds of kilos of class B drugs.

He was first arrested in 2011 following a raid on business premises in Hunslet, Leeds, in October 2011 when 10kgs of drugs with a street value of £250,000 were seized.

Halliday disappeared while on bail in September 2013 and was later jailed in his absence for 10 years.

West Yorkshire Police said proceedings had now begun to bring him back to the UK.

Det Insp Neil Hollis said: “Halliday is a dangerous convicted criminal and we are delighted that he has finally been arrested and is in the custody of the authorities in the Philippines. It has taken a lot of hard work but we are now a step closer to bringing him back to the UK to serve his prison sentence.”

Halliday, formerly of Harrogate, was one of 15 defendants convicted following the largest investigation by West Yorkshire Police into the importation of synthetic drugs.

Police, the National Crime Agency, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Foreign Office were all involved in his arrest.