A FUGITIVE wanted on an outstanding warrant for drug-related charges in Western Australia has been arrested attempting to flee Australia on a jet ski.
The 57-year-old UK national, who was armed with a crossbow and carrying additional fuel and supplies, was caught after launching a jet ski on Cape York in far north Queensland.
Police identified the man’s travel path and established he planned to travel the 154km to Papua New Guinea by jet ski.
Queensland Police were tipped off after the jet ski was spotted at Pundsand Bay on Monday, and the force launched a joint operation with the Australian Border Force and Australian Federal Police.
ABF Border Monitoring Officers, Torres Strait Councillors and community members identified the man’s travel path and his hope of travelling to PNG.
The Australian Border Force deployed armed patrol boat Cutter Roebuck Bay with officers from each agency on board and quickly found the jet ski and the man on mudflats on the eastern side of Saibai Island.
He was taken on board the patrol boat and transported to Thursday Island where he was held by Queensland Police pending extradition to WA. The jet ski was towed to Saibai island.
ABF Commander Northern Command Jo Crooks said the result highlighted the effectiveness of the collaborative joint agency approach in the Torres Strait.
“This is a perfect example of local intelligence sharing, community support, ABOC coordination and our maritime capability, all working together to enable a quick and effective multi-agency response to a situation,” Commander Crooks said.
“Through our posture in the Torres Strait and working closely with our AFP and QPS partners, we have the ability to detect a range of border threats, including suspicious movements through the region.
“Anyone who thinks they can either enter or leave Australia through the region without detection should think again.
“The ABF would like to recognise the efforts of ABF Border Monitoring officers on Moa, Dauan and Saibai, as well as community, council members and councillors on Saibai, Dauan, Sigabadaru and Mabaduan.”
An AFP spokesman said the location and arrest of the man was a testament to the AFP’s strong intelligence and policing partnerships.
“This arrest sends a strong message to would-be fugitives – our reach across Australia is second to none and we will use all our contacts and relationships to find you and bring you before a court,” the spokesman added.
Major 🗝️Alert: As we know from @djkhaled – jet skis are NOT your friend. A 57yo UK fugitive allegedly fleeing Aus on a jet ski armed with a crossbow found the hard way. AFP, @AusBorderForce & @QldPolice on the mudflats of an island in the Torres Strait. https://t.co/zATnu3Hwtv pic.twitter.com/lwtzcBb9EW
— AFP (@AusFedPolice) March 27, 2019
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