Page last updated at 18:40 GMT, Thursday, 19 February 2009

Venezuela detainee 'sought in UK'

Map of Venezuela

One of two British nationals detained in Venezuela for alleged drugs offences is wanted by police in the UK.

Merseyside Police say that Paul Makin, 31, is wanted for affray and possession of an offensive weapon.

An arrest warrant was issued after he failed to appear at a Liverpool Crown Court hearing on 9 February.

Mr Makin and his wife Laura were held at the airport of the island of Margarita, allegedly carrying a large amount of cocaine in three suitcases.

Four children - an eight-year-old, a seven-year-old, and two-year-old twins - who were with them have been placed in the care of local social services.

Mr Makin's solicitor, John Wheate, told the BBC that he had not spoken to his client yet, only to his mother.

"The judicial process in Venezuela will have to take its course," Mr Wheate said, adding that he would need to study the intricacies of the law there in order to assist in the repatriation of his client and the children.

Consular help

The Foreign Office said that consular officials from the embassy had travelled to Margarita to provide consular assistance to the couple and monitor the welfare of the children.

No formal charges have yet been brought against the couple, who remain in custody on Margarita.

A spokeswoman for First Choice Holidays confirmed that the couple were on a package holiday with the firm and were boarding a flight to London when they were arrested.

The British consulate said it took any case involving young children very seriously, and members of the family are believed to have arrived in Venezuela to begin the process of bringing the children back to the UK.



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