Amsterdam, strippers and footy used by fugitives on the run

Fugitives from Merseyside have spent years trying to avoid justice and have passed the time in Amsterdam, visiting strip clubs and watching football.

The latest fugitive to be captured was long-time absconder Mark Anthony Fitzgibbon who spent a staggering 16 years on the run.

He was finally captured at Liverpool John Lennon Airport, in the early hours of Tuesday morning after landing on the runway aboard a Ryanair flight from Faro, in Portugal.

The 49-year-old is suspected of being involved in a high-level drug trafficking plot and was believed to have been living in Holland.

Zilch - No Credit Check Finance

In 2004, Fitzgibbon became one of the UK's most wanted.

The north Liverpool man is currently in custody where he will be questioned by officers about his status as a fugitive, and where he has been.

Fitzgibbon has been named on a Crimestoppers and Serious Organised Crime Agency hit-list of fugitives for many years.

Mark Anthony Fitzgibbon

He, like many others, has attempted to live a life away from Merseyside.

wirral airport transfers

Fugitives often flee to places such as Holland and Spain, living the high life before being brought to justice by the authorities.

Costa del Sol and Amsterdam

Spain's Costa del Sol and Amsterdam have long been common hideout spots for Merseyside fugitives.

The large ex-pat community on the Costa del Sol makes it a perfect spot to blend in, particularly with the region, like Amsterdam, being popular among British tourists.

Historic criminal connections between Merseyside and southern Spain and Amsterdam, both major trading and transit posts in the international drug and guns trade, mean networks that can support someone on the run also exist.

Recent cases have shown both areas remain common hiding places, though the locations where suspects have laid low have widened.

Dominic McInally, 29, from Formby was arrested earlier this year.

Accused of being a key figure in a cocaine gang, he had been on the run for five years before he was arrested in a strip club in Marbella earlier this month.

The party spot was one of several that Huyton drugs gang leader Liam Cornett visited while running a multi-million pound conspiracy from his base in the south of Spain.

The 29-year-old also partied in Monte Carlo before being captured after flying into the UK.

He was jailed for 26 years in December.

Video Loading Click to play Tap to play The video will start in8Cancel Play now

Knife thug Anthony Murphy, previously of Shrewsbury Drive in Upton, hid out in Benidorm after slashing three people in a Liverpool nightclub.

He was eventually jailed for 12 years and 11 months.

Wirral drug dealer Peter Atherton was arrested in Seville on a European Arrest Warrant in 2017.

He was captured at the 3-3 Champions League group stage draw between Sevilla and Liverpool after being unable to resist the temptation of watching the Reds while he was on the run.

He later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs in England and Wales and was jailed for 18 years and nine months.

Child rapist Alan Hollis escaped to Malaga, where he lived under a false name before being caught and jailed for 15 years and nine months after admitting seven counts of sexual abuse at Liverpool Crown Court.

Malaga was the same place that notorious drugs baron Mark ‘Fatboy’ Lilley was found after he went on the run from a 23-year jail sentence.

Video Loading Click to play Tap to play The video will start in8Cancel Play now

The 20-stone bodybuilder was tracked down in 2014 – when armed police found him naked in the panic room of a luxury villa on the Costa del Sol.

He was flown back to the UK, put behind bars and told to not expect parole for 15 years.

Put in your postcode to see what the crime rate is where you live

Bungling fugitives decided to take a risk on flying anyway

Moving north of the southern coast of Spain, John Peverall was arrested in Madrid.

He is believed to have hidden in Amsterdam during three years on the run before his capture in Spain.

He was one of Merseyside's most wanted men due to his links with a gang behind cocaine, heroin and cannabis plots.

But he fled the UK after police raided his parents' Childwall home.

He was apprehended in 2018, when he was intercepted at Madrid airport and extradited on a European Arrest Warrant.

He was jailed for three years after admitting conspiracy to produce cannabis, but denying conspiracy to supply heroin.

Callum Anderson was captured going in the opposite direction.

Having hidden in Spain, he was arrested after landing in Amsterdam.

The 24-year-old, from Dingle, had fled the UK after a grenade blew up at a house where a massive amphetamines haul was being stored.

He was jailed for 10 years for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs – cocaine, and Class B drugs – amphetamine.

Slightly removed from the more obvious places

Daniel Burdett, from Liverpool, was hiding out in the Netherlands when he was arrested.

Officers swooped on Burdett, from Liverpool, as he had his Christmas dinner in The Hague, the seat of the UN.’s International Court of Justice.

He is now facing 10 allegations of conspiracy to import firearms and conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs.

Simone Mastrelli was captured in Rome, Italy and sent back to the UK, where he was handed three and a half years in jail for an attack that left Liverpool fan Sean Cox in a coma for six weeks.

The thug had been in the city to watch Roma play Liverpool at Anfield.

Far flung – and in some cases bizarre – hideouts that police still busted

Lance Kennedy, one of the biggest Merseyside drug dealers to have emerged over the past decade, ran his operation from just outside Barcelona.

But the Birkenhead criminal was tracked down in one of the most dramatic busts connected to Merseyside in recent years.

He was captured while attempting to cross a river from Moldova into Ukraine with associate Robbie Stewart.

Ukrainian soldiers halted the pair and held them at gunpoint ahead of extradition.

Video Loading Click to play Tap to play The video will start in8Cancel Play now

Kennedy, 32, was jailed for 18 years and drugs gang associate Stewart, 38 and also from Birkenhead, for 13 years and eight months.

Kennedy is thought to have passed through Thailand during his time on the run, which is where Wirral drugs gang brothers Gregory and Joseph Mulhare were arrested.

The Birkenhead pair were captured in Thailand and extradited to the UK for prosecution.

Gregory, 40, was jailed for 12 years and eight months and and Joseph, 44, for 15 years and four months.

David McDermott married the daughter of the governor of Ghana’s Central Bank and enjoyed a life of luxury during his three years on the run.

The dad-of-six was captured in Accra, the capital of the West African state, in a sting led by the National Crime Agency and Ghanaian authorities.

McDermott, from Ormskirk, failed in a bid to avoid extradition and was hauled back to Britain, where he was jailed for 13 years for drug offences.