‘WARRINGTON’s most wanted man’ Leon Cullen has been extradited to the UK.

The 33-year-old was detained by police in the United Arab Emirates on January 3, 2020, on an international arrest warrant after nearly two years on the run.

Cullen is suspected of being the head of a crime group supplying firearms and drugs.

One of Cheshire Police’s most wanted, he was arrested in Dubai as a result of a joint operation carried out by the force’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit, the National Crime Agency, the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit, Interpol and police authorities in the UAE.

They were also assisted by the CPS to secure his successful extradition to the UK.

Cullen, who left the UK on January 10, 2018, was brought back to the UK by officers from the National Extradition Unit yesterday, Friday.

He appeared at Liverpool Magistrates Court this morning, Saturday, in connection with a number of offences including conspiracies to supply firearms, ammunition and class A drugs.

He has been remanded in custody until his next appearance at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday, March 22.

Assistant chief constable Matt Burton, from Cheshire Police, said: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank the UAE authorities and all those involved for their hard work and commitment to bring Cullen back to the UK.”

Deputy director Tom Dowdall, head of NCA International, added: “Leon Cullen believed he could evade capture by fleeing to Dubai.

“However, working with our partners in the UK and the United Arab Emirates, we were able to locate and apprehend him so he could be returned to the UK.

“This type of global law enforcement cooperation has never been more important to tackling serious and organised crime affecting the UK, and I would like to thank the UAE authorities for all their work which led to Cullen’s arrest and extradition.

“Our network of international liaison officers operate across the world, and we will continue to work with our policing partners to pursue wanted individuals and ensure nowhere is a safe haven.”