A major drug gang's alleged kingpin will face an Australian court on December 4 after being deported by Turkish authorities.
Masood Zakaria, 28, was arrested when he landed in Darwin on December 3 after he reportedly fled Australia in a fishing boat in 2022.
Zakaria was held in Darwin on a NSW arrest warrant for offences including conspiracy to murder, knowingly directing the activities of a criminal group, supplying a prohibited drug and dealing in the proceeds of crime.
AFP assistant commissioner Stephen Dametto said he had a warning for "Australians who think they can hide offshore in perceived safe havens and avoid facing Australian courts for their alleged criminal activities".
"The AFP will be relentless in their pursuit until you face justice."
"More than 70 per cent of the transnational serious organised criminals who target Australia are offshore," he said.
"One by one, these alleged criminals are being extradited or deported to Australia to face the justice system."
Turkish officials notified Australian authorities after the man allegedly entered their country in 2022 on a false passport.
Further inquiries established he was living in the city of Bodrum on the country's south-western coast.
While overseas, police said the man continued to associate with a number of organised crime figures with significant Australian links.
He was arrested and transferred to immigration detention by Turkish authorities in January 2023 and has been held in custody until his deportation.
The man is scheduled to face Darwin Magistrates Court on December 4 when NSW Police will make an application to extradite him.
HELP IS AVAILABLE:
- For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.
- Access free 24/7 drug and alcohol counselling online at www.counsellingonline.org.au.
- For information about drug and alcohol addiction treatment or support, go to www.turningpoint.org.au.
With Australian Associated Press