Australia’s ‘Pablo Escobar’ captured 2 weeks after escape
Sydney, Australia, Nov 10 (EFE).- Australian Police on Wednesday captured Mostafa Baluch, known to authorities as the country’s “Pablo Escobar” and accused of drug crimes, more than two weeks after he escaped house arrest in Sydney.
Baluch, who was one of Australia’s most wanted men, allegedly tried to import 900 kilograms of cocaine, which United States authorities intercepted in April on a ship coming from Ecuador.
The 33 year old was captured Wednesday morning in the state of Queensland, after crossing the border with New South Wales, when police found him hidden in a vehicle transported in a truck.
New South Wales Police said Wednesday in a statement it would seek Baluch’s extradition from Queensland. The cache he allegedly attempted to smuggle is valued at about $ 199 million on the black market.
Australian authorities have also brought charges against the driver who allegedly helped him cross the border for interfering with justice, according to a police statement.
Baluch, first arrested in June in connection with the cocaine stash, had managed to obtain provisional release on Oct. 22 on the condition that he carry an electronic surveillance device. Three days later, Baluch managed to remove the device at his Sydney mansion and escape.
“This guy is our Pablo Escobar,” New South Wales Police Minister Dave Elliot told 2GB in late October, referring to the late Medellín cartel boss (1949-1993), adding that presumably “he is part of an international drug trafficking mafia with levels never seen before.” EFE