Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Police uncover fugitive hidden in car inside container

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Australian police on Wednesday found an alleged drug dealer who had been on the run since Oct. 25.

He was hiding in a Mercedes being transported inside a shipping container by a truck travelling from New South Wales to Queensland.

Queensland Police found Mostafa Baluch, 33, when they searched the container as it crossed the border from NSW in the early hours of Wednesday and arrested him.

A police officer checking trucks coming across the border “noticed some suspicious items, the container isn’t properly locked.

“There was a knock on the side of the truck and he knocked back. He was a bit shocked when we found him,’’ Rob Critchlow of the NSW Police told reporters on Wednesday.

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“We suspect that the person, thought it was a drop off point that he was being signaled that it is safe he didn’t realise it was a constable,’’ Critchlow added.

He said that the 33-year-old was planning to cross into Queensland and then flee overseas, saying he was desperate to leave Australia.

Mostafa, who had been charged over his alleged involvement in a plan to import 900 kilograms of cocaine, had been on the run since removing his ankle monitor shortly after getting bail, police said.

His escape sparked probably one of the largest fugitive hunts in the country, NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith told journalists.

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NSW Police said it would apply for Baluch’s extradition.

The 46-year-old man who was driving the truck was also arrested and charged with doing an act intending to pervert the course of justice.

dpa/NAN

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