Australia’s Most Wanted Fugitive Back In Custody
Busted at the border
Mostafa Baluch will front court in Queensland on Thursday as police look to extradite the accused drug smuggler to New South Wales.
Dubbed Australia's most wanted man, the 33-year-old was found after a 17-day manhunt in the boot of a Mercedes stored inside a shipping container on a truck near the Queensland border about 1am on Wednesday.
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Police Minister David Elliott told Seven he's glad Baluch was denied being able to flee the country.
"The Federal police didn't want this guy going overseas because they knew it would create a significant challenge for the Australian authorities to have him extradited," he said.
"Remember this was a guy who was allegedly a part of an international syndicate we'd never seen before, and the initial investigation included United States, Latin American, even European police forces".
- Minister David Elliott
Baluch’s daring attempt to escape serious drug charges in NSW, ended when a Queensland police officer tapped on the side of the truck, having been tipped off by Federal Police that an alleged organised crime figure would attempt to cross the border.
“Armed police, armed police!” an officer yelled, “Hands up! Hands up in the car.”
Arrested back in June, Baluch was up on eight charges, accused of being the key “shareholder” of a 900-kilogram cocaine shipment from Ecuador.
NSW Police’s State Crime Commander, Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith, confirmed on Wednesday, that he fled only days after his successful bail hearing in the Central Local Court
“By the 25th, the ankle bracelet he was wearing was removed and probably one of the largest fugitive hunts in the country commenced”
- Assist Comm Stuart Smith
Currently detained by Queensland police at the Southport watch house, NSW organised crime squad detectives will apply for his extradition at Southport Magistrates Court on Thursday.
The fugitive is expected to be returned to the Harbour City later today.
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