Stephen Blundell arrested in Tenerife
Stephen Blundell was arrested in Tenerife after handing himself in to police on MondayGetty/NCA

Liverpool drug lord Stephen Blundell has been arrested in Tenerife 21 months after he went on the run to avoid being jailed for heroin trafficking.

Blundell fled the UK in April 2013 after he pleased guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and was sentenced to nine years eight months in his absence.

He was apprehended on a European Arrest Warrant when he handed himself in to the Spanish authorities at a police station in Tenerife on Monday (12 January).

Extradition proceedings will begin tomorrow when Blundell appears at the Spanish National Court in Madrid.

Blundell led an operation that included a Cornish grandmother caught transporting £50,000 heroin under pasties in her shopping bag.

Devon and Cornwall Police targeted Blundell as part of an 18-month long investigation into the supply of heroin from Merseyside into areas such as Bodmin, Exeter, Tiverton and Torquay. The other members of his crime group received sentences totalling 77 years.

He is the 64th fugitive to be located out of 76 publicised through Operation Captura – the multi-agency initiative between Crimestoppers, the National Crime Agency and the Spanish authorities.

Hank Cole, head of international operations for the National Crime Agency, said: "Blundell would have been constantly looking over his shoulder after his mugshot appeared across Spain as part of the Captura 'unlucky 13' campaign.

"It was only a matter of time before he was caught as the Spanish National Police had been carrying out intelligence-led operations in Tenerife. The law enforcement net was tightening and I believe he handed himself in when he realised his days on the run were numbered."