One of Britain's most wanted fugitives, armed robber Andrew Moran, has been arrested at a luxury villa on the Spanish coast, police from both countries have said.

Armed officers found the 31-year-old relaxing by the swimming pool when they raided the villa in the town of Calpe on the Alicante coast on Friday, Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) said.

The arrest, not publicly announced until Sunday, came about four years after Andrew Terence Moran absconded from his trial for armed robbery in Britain, assaulting a security guard and vaulting over the dock. He fled the country and was later convicted in his absence.

Police video footage showed how officers approached a swimming pool while hiding behind walls before pouncing on Moran as he relaxed in red swimming trunks.

As soon as police jumped over the walls, Moran tried to flee, leaping onto the tiled roof of a pool-side outhouse.

Spanish police said the fugitive, who they described as a "dangerous fugitive", had "attempted to flee and violently resisted the officers".

Brutal robbery

Alerted to his presence near the Mediterranean coast, Spanish police tracked him down last November. However, Moran managed to get away after using his vehicle to ram two belonging to the police and driving off at high speed on the wrong side of a highway.

He was arrested in 2007 over the brutal robbery two years earlier of £25,000 ($38,000) from guards working for the Royal Mail postal service in Colne, in Lancashire.

The guards were threatened with a handgun, machete and a baseball bat, and one of them was assaulted in the raid.

Moran's co-accused, Stephen Devalda, was arrested at a hotel in the Spanish resort of Marbella in 2011.

Matt Burton, SOCA's head of investigations, said: "Moran thought he could evade capture fleeing to Spain, frequently changing his appearance and using false identities.

"Like his partner in crime Devalda and the other armed robbers on the [agency's] hit-list discovered, though, there's no hiding place."

The agency said Moran would be appearing in court in Madrid on Monday as proceedings begin to extradite him to Britain.

Source: Agencies