Turkish police arrest suspected British crime boss in Istanbul hotel

A British man accused of being the “ringleader” of an armed gang operating in northeast England has been arrested in Istanbul after being made the subject of an Interpol red notice.

Shaun Monaghan was detained by Turkish narcotics police, who found the fugitive in a hotel in Istanbul. The arrest was confirmed by Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya on Wednesday.

Monaghan, 44, is accused of drug smuggling, illegal gun trade and armed robbery. He is believed to have arrived in Turkiye in October.

The Interpol notice for his arrest was published on Tuesday; hours later, Monaghan was in custody after armed Turkish police swooped on a hotel room in the Fatih district of the city, where they found and detained the suspected crime boss.

A video of Turkish narcotics police arresting Monaghan was published by Turkiye’s Interior Minister on social media.

Monaghan, who is from Newcastle and has prior convictions for conspiracy to supply cocaine, is accused of heading up a gang that is allegedly responsible for the distribution of “large amounts” of cocaine and heroin in England.

Following his arrested, Yerlikaya issued a statement confirming that “Shaun Monaghan… was detected and captured by the Cage-16 operation.”

“It has been determined that the armed organisation, led by Shaun Monaghan, distributes large amounts of cocaine and heroin in England, commits illegal arms trade, armed wounding, armed threats and armed robbery, and that the organisation possesses a large number of long-barrelled and pistol-type weapons and ammunition,” the statement continued.

“We are determined to cleanse our country from international and national organised crime organisations. ‘We will catch them one by one and bring them to justice.,” Minister Yerlikaya added.

The operation in Istanbul is the latest in a series of major crime busts and arrests by Turkish police that has been targeting international organised crime rings.