Spanish police said on Tuesday (July 16) they had arrested a Briton they described as one of Europe's top 10 most wanted criminals and had helped dismantle a transatlantic cocaine-smuggling ring.

In a statement, police said Brian Charrington was taken into custody along with his son in the Mediterranean resort town of Alicante and that his girlfriend, who was not named, was arrested in Venezuela while organising a cocaine shipment.

Thirteen people in all were arrested in the two countries, accused of smuggling drugs into Spain for sale across Europe.

The international police operation which began in 2010 involved the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency, Venezuela's ONA and had the support of AMERIPOL as well as other judicial and police institutions.

Police said they had also seized 220 kg (485 pounds) of cocaine from an apartment and blocked bank accounts, property and goods worth over 5 million euros (£4.3 million).

It said Charrington, a former car dealer from Middlesbrough had been living a life of luxury in Spain where he and his son owned ten homes, several top-end cars and six boats in the Marina Alta area of Alicante alone.

Presented by Adam Justice