UK police remove officers from outside Ecuadorean Embassy where Julian Assange is holed up

British police have removed the officers standing watch over Julian Assange outside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, but say they will still do their best to arrest the WikiLeaks founder who has been holed up there since June 2012.

The 24-hour operation has been controversial in part because it is so costly. London's Metropolitan Police says the operation cost 11.1 million pounds ($17.6 million) through April 2015.

London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement Monday that Assange is still subject to arrest for failing to answer a rape charge in Sweden.

"Whilst no tactics guarantee success in the event of Julian Assange leaving the embassy, the (police) will deploy a number of overt and covert tactics to arrest him," the police said in a statement.