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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-06-06

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Australian fugitive Tony Mokbel arrested in Athens

  • [01] Australian fugitive Tony Mokbel arrested in Athens

    Greek authorities on Wednesday confirmed the arrest of wanted Australian fugitive Antonio (Tony) Mokbel, 41, who appeared before a public prosecutor and was officially charged.

    They said Mokbel was arrested in the Athens suburb of Glyfada and was wanted in Australia in connection with serious drugs and homicide cases.

    The charges brought against him by Greek authorities involve the use of fake documents, which constitutes a misdemeanour under local laws. Because he was caught in the act, he faces trial before a special police court where he is expected to seek a continuance.

    According to police, the 41-year-old Australian national was using a wig as a disguise at the time of his arrest and was carrying a fake passport and driving licence, while he had presented himself as a shipping firm employee.

    He is also to appear before a extradition prosecutor at an Athens appeals court on Wednesday evening, since there are outstanding warrants for his arrest that require his extradition to Australia.

    According to an ANA-MPA correspondent from Melbourne, the news of Mokbel's arrest was headline news in the Australian media and earned praise from Australian authorities for the Greek police.

    The Victoria State Police had offered a one-million Australian dollar reward for information leading to the capture of Lebanese-born Mokbel, who has been wanted since March 19, 2006, just before he was sentenced by a Melbourne court for cocaine trafficking. In addition to other charges, meanwhile, Mokbel also faces trial for the murder of a prominent member of the Australian underworld and is a suspect in several more killings during a gang war that left 30 people dead.

    The process for his extradition to Australia is already underway.

    According to the reports, drug trafficking in Australia had earned him an estimated 40 million dollars and roughly half of the money was channeled abroad. He was also involved in the production of ecstasy (XTC) pills and a police had found quantities with an estimated street value of 78 million Australian dollars in a raid on his lab.

    As soon as the news of his arrest in Greece was out, police in the State of Victoria raided a number of houses in Melbourne belonging to members of his family or friends and arrested 14 individuals.

    Caption: Mugshot released by Greek police of Australian fugitive Tony Mokbel, who was led before a public prosecutor in Athens on Wednesday, June 6 2007, and charged with using a fake documents. Mokbel is shown wearing the wig that he was using as a disguise when he was arrested by Greek police in a cafeteria in the Athens suburb of Glyfada on Tuesday, June 5 2007.


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