International hunt for leader of drugs gang from Wigan

Wanted: Adam Perks
Wanted: Adam Perks

This is Wigan’s most wanted man - Adam Perks, the ringleader of an multi-million pound drug smuggling ring.

Perks, who hails from the Kitt Green area of the town, has been on the run from justice for four years.

Other news: Detectives investigate sexual assault of 15-year-old girl in Wigan

He had been identified by police as the key to a major operation importing cocaine from South America and had been arrested in November 2013.

But at the time there was insufficient evidence to bring charges and officers were forced to release him as they continued to build a case.

In June 2014 as the net began to close on his co-conspirators - including his twin brother Simon - Perks flew out to Colombia but has not been heard of since.

Appealing for help in tracking him down, police today said that they believed Perks, who is now aged 41, remains abroad.

Perks’ five-man gang was jailed at Liverpool Crown Court for a total of 46 years in December 2016.

The hearing was told he had arranged to bring in two cocaine consignments from Mexico with a combined street value of £5m.

Perks’ right hand man, Martin Fish, was among those who travelled to Felixstowe to secretly extract the illegal consignment from the container and then seal it up again.

He bragged to his girlfriend that they were “made for life.”

But Perks, of Bell Lane, Kitt Green, was hit with a 12-year sentence as was Simon Perks, of Sefton Road, Orrell.

Fish and two men involved in pressing the cocaine in an Ashton lock-up unit raided by police - Thomas Gore, 37, of Scot Lane, Newtown, and Anthony Jenkinson, 35, of Inward Drive, Shevington - pleaded guilty to conspiring to produce cocaine.

Simon Perks and his trusted friend Christopher Thompson, 41, of St Wilfrid’s Road, Standish, both denied the offence but were convicted after a trial.

Thompson was jailed for 10 years and Gore and Jenkinson each received six years.

Since then the convicted men have been subjected to Proceeds of Crime hearings, the last of which culminated only last week which saw Gore stung for £45,000 of realisable assets.

Gore, though, is estimated to have amassed more than £113,000. But the “Mr Big” of the operation remains at large.

Jailing the other five in 2016, Judge Steven Everett said it was clear that Adam Perks was at the “top of the management chain” and had been involved in discussions with at least five South American cocaine suppliers which led to 20kg of cocaine being smuggled into the UK in 2013. That would have been diluted to make 100kg.

Smuggling had continued after police raided the lock-up in March 2014 to find a pill-pressing machine and drugs.

The hearing was told that Adam Perks coordinated the trafficking operation and in April, May and early June of that year he bought chemicals used to extract cocaine hidden in coffee and they were delivered to his twin’s home.

The twins’ mother died in late 2016 but, if police had hoped that Adam might re-emerge as a result, they were to be disappointed. Indeed Simon Perks refused to attend her funeral because he said he did not want to be at the ceremony while shackled to prison officers.

A police spokeswoman said: “Inquiries are ongoing and we are working with partners and he is not currently believed to be in the UK.”

Anyone with information about Adam Perks’s whereabouts is asked to ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.