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Last Updated: Friday, 23 November 2007, 16:39 GMT
Ecstasy smuggler found shot dead
A man sentenced in his absence to 18 years in jail in 2002 for his role in a 1m ecstasy smuggling ring has been found shot dead in Amsterdam.

Simon Cowmeadow, 40, was killed by a single shot to the head in the gangland-style attack.

Cowmeadow was caught with two others unloading a lorry carrying 100,000 ecstasy tablets on an industrial estate in Essex in 2001.

He skipped bail and had not been seen since, police said.

An Amsterdam police spokeswoman said Cowmeadow was found dead in a street in the east of the city shortly before 1900 GMT last Sunday.

Dutch investigation

She said: "He was shot dead by a bullet in his head. The only thing we know about this man is they were searching for him in England."

The spokeswoman added that Cowmeadow had been living in Holland for several years and that no arrests had been made.

Gloucestershire Constabulary confirmed a local man aged 40 had been found dead in Amsterdam, Holland.

"The circumstances of the death are the subject of an investigation by the Dutch authorities.

"The Gloucestershire coroner's office has been informed."

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) said Cowmeadow's last UK known address was Flaxley, near Gloucester.

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