One-legged drug lord dubbed one of ‘UK’s most wanted criminals’ still on the run

A one-legged man who has been on the run since 2019 remains one of the UK's most-wanted criminals.

Richard Wakeling is from Brentwood, Essex, and has been coveted by the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) for over two years.

He was convicted whilst absent on April 11, 2019, at Chelmsford Crown Court for attempting to smuggle £8m worth of liquid amphetamine into the UK.

He hot-footed it just before he was sentenced to 11 years in jail and remains at large, Essex Live reported.

Wakeling is described as a white, 5’11 male with short, brown hair and is believed to be between 50-55 years old.

He also has a prosthetic leg on his right side following a lower leg amputation and requires regular medical treatment.

While Wakeling’s whereabouts are uncertain, he could be overseas due to having connections in Ireland, Spain, and Canada, and Wakeling has especially strong family ties in Thailand.

NCA investigators have established that he took a bus from Heathrow to Glasgow on January 5, and then a ferry from Stranraer to Belfast the next day.

Wakeley was convicted along with 3 other men of conspiring to import drugs. They were sentenced on Friday, April 6, following a 12-week trial.

It is believed that Wakeling is the kingpin of the entire operation and liaised with drug suppliers in Belgium and the Netherlands.

The drugs were seized after Border Force found the liquid amphetamine inside plastic drums on the truck belonging to one of the men.

This happened while they were attempting to board a train through the Channel Tunnel on April 9, 2016.

Wakeling was transporting furniture from Italy but stopped at Ternat in Belgium where phone evidence showed he was directed by a fellow trucker to collect the drugs.

The NCA suspects that he could be abroad, but is currently appealing for any information relating to his whereabouts.

They have said that Wakeling should not be approached.

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