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Runaway drug smuggler caught after eight years

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Runaway drug smuggler caught after eight years
16:25 CEST+02:00
A 36-year-old convicted drug smuggler who fled prison in Sweden in 2004 by feigning illness has been caught in Spain after a massive international man hunt that lasted eight years.

The man, Saoud Rezgani, was sentenced to six years in prison back in 2003 after he was found guilty of smuggling almost 49 kilogrammes of cannabis into Sweden from Denmark.

Not long after entering prison, however, Rezgani complained to prison medical staff of stomach pains and later escaped from the country in connection with a visit to the doctor in 2004.

In his escape, he knocked down the two armed guards who had escorted him to the hospital and took off in a stolen grey Saab 9000, which was later found dumped in Norrtälje.

Rezgani, a Moroccan citizen, managed to evade an international man hunt that continued until late last month when police took him in Malaga on the Spanish coast.

"We have no details of the arrest, but an extradition process, which normally takes a month, has begun in the Spanish court," said Carolina Ekeus of the National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen) to the Expressen newspaper.

The man was on the Swedish National Bureau of Investigation's Ikaros List, an official document listing Sweden's most wanted men and women.

Rezgani will be handed over to Swedish police upon arrival in the country.

The actual escape is not punishable, according the Aftonbladet newspaper, but police will investigate whether Rezgani, a Moroccan national, committed any further crimes while on the run.

TT/The Local/og

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