Fugitive Scottish supergang member jailed in Spain sting

A fugitive Scottish supergang member caught after being hauled back from Spain has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Joseph Lindsay was held as part of Operation Escalade. Picture: contributed
Joseph Lindsay was held as part of Operation Escalade. Picture: contributed

Joseph Lindsay, 34, was held as part of the huge Operation Escalade police inquiry in December last year.

The crime mob has been branded the “most sophisticated” encountered by the authorities for their dealings in drugs, guns, serious violence and dirty money.

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Twelve members have already been jailed for a total of more than 100 years.

Lindsay was back in the dock yesterday after he pled guilty to concealing and disguising criminal property for the gang.

A judge heard how a total of £95,010 was found in a tub in a hidden compartment of a lorry.

Lindsay’s DNA was found on elastic bands wrapped around the cash.

Lord Beckett yesterday told him: “You were involved in the organised crime group disrupted by the police in Operation Escalade.

“Your activities were integral to the workings of the group.”

Lindsay, from Blantyre in Lanarkshire, was traced by Spanish police in Tenerife.

A European Arrest Warrant had earlier been issued to find the father.

He had become a suspect after a raid at an industrial unit in 2017.

Tubs found at the premises in East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, were later analysed.

Prosecutor Lindsey Dalziel told an earlier hearing: “DNA matching that of Joseph Lindsay was recovered from elastic bands, which were wrapped around the money.”

The way it was packaged and labelled was “similar to the method” used to bundle other cash by the crime crew.

Miss Dalziel added Lindsay had also been seen with other gang members.

Lindsay’s QC Brian McConnachie said: “He was effectively turning a blind eye in truth to what was going on. At the time, he was at a low ebb.”

Lindsay faces a further hearing next month to see whether he will also be hit with a Serious Crime Prevention Order.

Operation Escalade uncovered a criminal enterprise that generated more than £100 million a year and stretched from Baillieston to Brazil. Det Supt Laura Thomson, from the Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism Unit, said police would “continue to disrupt anyone involved in this type of activity on a daily basis”.

She said: “People involved in serious organised crime can give the illusion of living a glamorous lifestyle, but the reality is they are living dangerously, constantly having to look over their shoulder and causing misery to our communities.”