City fugitive missing for 16 years to be quizzed over drugs plot

National investigators are preparing to speak to a fugitive on the run for 16 years before his midnight arrest at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

Mark Fitzgibbon was detained on Tuesday after he jetted into the city on a Ryanair flight from Faro in the Portuguese Algarve.

The 49-year-old, from Walton, has been at large since 2004 and was initially thought to be lying low in Holland.

But he travelled in on the low-budget airline from Europe and was apprehended by waiting officers from Merseyside.

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Police cars and dogs were stationed on the runway for the moment the plane crawled to its stopping point in Speke.

Detectives from Merseyside are quizzing Fitzgibbon over suspected offences including breach of a prison licence and remaining lawfully at large.

That could see him returned to jail.

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But the National Crime Agency have now confirmed they are getting set to speak to Fitzgibbon too about a separate matter.

It relates to a visit to a Liverpool address in 2011 when 84kg of cannabis and 57kg of amphetamine powder was discovered.

The hauls are valued at £500,000 and £280,000.

The NCA agency will now arrange to speak to Fitzgibbon about his alleged involvement in the plot

Their probe will run entirely separately to Merseyside Police's investigation.

The Ryanair flight left Faro at 9.30pm on Monday evening and touched down in south Liverpool at 12.20am.

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Merseyside Police said: "There is no safe haven for fugitives and time is no barrier to the pursuit of justice.

"We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners across the world to pursue these individuals."