British drugs baron awaits extradition from Thailand

British national Jonathan Moorby, 47, is seen detained and questioned by police at his home in Koh Samui, Thailand (Image: APTN)

Why drugs baron ‘Mr Big’ is still to be extradited – four months after he was snared in Thailand

Teesside fugitive Jonathan Moorby was captured on the paradise island of Koh Samui in May. His deportation had been expected within ‘days’

Teesside ‘Mr Big’ Jonathan Moorby is still awaiting extradition to the UK – four months after he was arrested in Thailand.

Moorby – who spent three years on the run ahead of a Class A supply trial – was snared by armed officers near to the holiday island of Ko Sumui in May.

At the time, the Teesside drugs baron, formerly of Ingleby Barwick, had been expected to be deported within a “matter of days”.

But months after his arrest, he is still to be returned to the UK where he is meant to be serving a 15-year stretch.

Cleveland Police, which led the operation to capture the fugitive, said British forces are ready for his arrival.

But extradition proceedings have been held up while he awaits a Thai trial in relation to document offences, the force confirmed.

Thai police charged Moorby, 47, with illegal entry to Thailand and using a fake passport – under the Belgian name Goossens Wouters.

The fugitive trafficker was captured after he left his luxury villa on the palm-lined island of Koh Samui, in southern Thailand.

Armed officers pounced on his new home in the sun but Moorby had hired a speedboat and fled 20 minutes away to the remote island of Ko Mudsom.

Police tracked him down and the ‘Mr Big’ of the North-east was pictured handcuffed surrounded by cops and Interpol officers.

The arrest was the result of a joint operation between Thailand’s Narcotics Suppression Bureau and Interpol.

Moorby was sentenced in his absence at Teesside Crown Court in December 2014 to 15 years for possession with intent to supply cocaine and amphetamine.

In July 2016, he was ordered to repay £575,860 of his ill-gotten gains under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

A spokesman for Cleveland Police said: “We are still awaiting him coming back from Thailand.

“The hold-up is because he is awaiting a trial over there first in relation to document offences.”

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