By Martin Brunt, Crime Correspondent

Police have released a “most wanted” list of eight men and one woman suspected of offences such as drug dealing and rape who are believed to be hiding on Cyprus.

A drug baron, a multiple rapist and a hit-and-run killer are among a rogues gallery of fugitives being hunted.

Most are thought to be hiding in the Turkish north of the divided island, where there is no extradition treaty with the UK.

But Crimestoppers says that relaxed controls mean suspects are crossing the border to enjoy the home-from-home pleasures more readily available in the south.

And in doing so, they risk arrest and extradition.

Martin Evans, 50, is a former award-winning Welsh businessman who turned to crime and built a £39m drugs empire, with homes in Miami and Spain.

He also set up an ostrich-breeding company and stole hundreds of thousands of pounds from investors.

He fled Britain during day release from prison a year ago.

Paul Lockwood, 41, is wanted by Greater Manchester Police investigating five rapes of a girl who was six at the start of a long series of attacks.

Wayne Smith, 38, ran over and killed a pedestrian during a car chase with a friend in Birmingham in 2005.

After his conviction he jumped bail and fled to Northern Cyprus, where it is believed he has tried to take citizenship.

He is in hiding there with his girlfriend Julie Anne Skelding, 40, who was convicted of giving him a false alibi.

The victim was 22-year-old waiter Mohammed Idrees, who was dragged 140 metres to his death by Smith’s speeding car.

His brother Yusuf Mohammed said: “Wayne Smith should never have been given the opportunity to get away and he has still not been sentenced.

“I still feel great anger towards him. He was man enough to take a life, so he should come back and own up to his actions.”

Martin Power, 46, is wanted by the Metropolitan Police for a £7m mortgage scam.

Timur Mehmet, 39, fled ahead of his trial at Northampton on a £25m business fraud, but was found guilty in his absence and jailed for eight years.

Three of the fugitives are Cypriots, including Mehmet Salih, 41, who is wanted for cocaine smuggling in Leicestershire.

Costas Sampson is the youngest fugitive at 21 and is wanted for the rape of a woman he met at a Greek club in London.

Hasan Akarcay, 56, is wanted for supplying drugs in West Yorkshire.

Crimestoppers founder Lord Ashcroft said: “While these suspected criminals will see Cyprus as a safe place to evade law enforcement, my belief is that with the help of the local public and expatriate community these individuals will not be able to escape justice for much longer.”

:: Anyone with information can ring Crimestoppers from Cyprus on 8000 55 11, or from the UK on 0800 555 111.


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