A prominent Dublin criminal who fled Ireland after the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin is in police custody in the Netherlands.

Convicted criminal John Traynor was arrested ten days ago in the small Dutch town of Amstelveen just outside Amsterdam following cooperation between the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency and Dutch regional police.

In a statement, the Serious Organised Crime Agency says that Traynor is believed to have been living in the Netherlands for a number of years.

The 62-year-old has been sought in the UK for the past 18 years after he absconded from prison one year into a seven-year sentence after he was caught handling stolen bearer bonds in London.

He is now awaiting extradition to the UK to serve the remainder of his sentence.

A prisoner at Highpoint Prison, Suffolk, he was given temporary release, came back to Ireland and never went back.

Traynor was Ms Guerin’s criminal contact who, prior to her murder, was seeking a High Court order to prevent her writing about his involvement in organised crime.

He fled Ireland after she was shot dead on the Naas Road in 1996 and moved between Spain and the Netherlands.

He was arrested with Brian Meehan in 1997 in Amsterdam.

Meehan was extradited and is now serving life for the murder, Traynor was released without charge.