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Mostafa Baluch’s escape plans allegedly included sailing from Wollongong

Mostafa Baluch was in Sydney for many of his time on the run and at one level hatched a plan to escape NSW Police by sailing from Wollongong, investigators allege.

Police are investigating whether or not after abandoning the Wollongong scheme, Baluch as a substitute tried to sneak into Queensland the place he hoped to sail to Thailand earlier than escaping to the Balkans space of Europe.

But the alleged drug smuggling bail breacher was caught on the NSW-Queensland border.

He was allegedly hiding in a Mercedes on the again of a truck, police stated.

“The police strategy was to put enough pressure on him and his associates for him to make a mistake,” detective superintendent Rob Critchlow instructed NCA NewsWire.

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Mostafa Baluch was arrested early on Wednesday morning near the NSW-Queensland border. Photo: NSW Police
Camera IconMostafa Baluch was arrested early on Wednesday morning close to the NSW-Queensland border. Photo: NSW Police Credit: Supplied

His arrest at Tweed Heads within the early hours of Wednesday morning was the fruits of a two-week manhunt that has been described as one in every of Australia’s most intensive.

Police searched excessive and low for the 33-year-old Sydneysider, who’s alleged to have been the financier behind a 900kg cargo of cocaine into Australia that had a avenue worth of $270m.

Cops checked out leads in Victoria, South Australia and Queensland in the course of the hunt.

But as police now piece collectively the main points of his time on the run, it seems the likeliest concept is he was near residence the whole time.

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Police consider the northern seashores man stayed within the metropolis after he allegedly reduce off his ankle bracelet on October 25.

Investigators suspect he continuously moved round completely different neighbourhoods, earlier than setting out for the northern state border hidden within the truck.

It could be revealed that police suspect Baluch visited the inside metropolis and likewise no less than one of many two houses that police raided final week in Potts Hill and Yagoona in southwestern Sydney.

The 33-year-old was on the run for about two weeks.
Camera IconThe 33-year-old was on the run for about two weeks. Credit: Supplied

“Desperate” to go away the nation, his escape plans have been believed to have included boarding a flight from Bankstown Airport, and sailing out from Wollongong, police stated.

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But these plans have been thwarted by a police technique of most stress.

The intensive and public seek for Baluch prompted different alleged underworld figures to think about him “hot”, which helped police collect details about his whereabouts.

It additionally prevented the fugitive from fastidiously planning his escape.

When officers stopped the truck by which he tried to cross the border, the automobile caught out to them as a result of it wasn’t correctly locked.

The truck driver was an alleged affiliate of Baluch’s who had entry to the automobile as a result of he ran a delivery firm.

The 46-year-old Sutherland Shire man was charged with aspiring to pervert the course of justice, and refused bail forward of a Wednesday court docket look in Grafton, NSW.

Mr Critchlow declined to specify what attainable connection the 2 males had earlier than the truck journey.

“They probably share some similar business interests,” he stated.

POLICE PRESSER
Camera IconNSW Police detective superintendent Rob Critchlow stated extra arrests have been seemingly. NCA NewsWire / Christian Gilles Credit: News Corp Australia

The data police have gathered in the course of the manhunt will seemingly result in extra folks being arrested, he stated.

“We’re working on a few other people, there’ll certainly be more arrests and seizures of property.”

Baluch was beforehand arrested in June and charged by NSW authorities with a string of offences, together with supplying a prohibited drug and coping with the proceeds of crime.

He spent the evening in custody on the Gold Coast earlier than a Justice of the Peace permitted for his extradition again to NSW on Thursday morning.

Baluch was dialled in to Southport Magistrate’s Court from lockup, talking solely briefly by way of speakerphone.

Plenty of NSW Police packed into the courtroom for Thursday’s listening to.

“Yes, I can hear you,” have been Baluch’s solely phrases after he was requested if he was on the road.

Police plan to move him on one of many drive’s personal aeroplanes again to Sydney, NCA NewsWire has been instructed.

He is because of seem in Sydney Central Local Court on November 12.

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