NZ fugitive nabbed by AFP’s FAST

A highly-skilled Australian Federal Police fugitive strike team has arrested a man in central Victoria after a request from New Zealand Police.

The wanted New Zealand national was arrested by the AFP’s Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team (FAST) in central Victoria late on 29 April 2021, and appeared in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 30 April.

The AFP is today for the first time publicly revealing FAST, which was established in February 2021.

FAST is targeting offenders who are the subject of arrest warrants for murder, manslaughter, drug trafficking, money laundering and serious fraud.

FAST is working with domestic and international law enforcement partners to help arrest and extradite offenders to Australia.

However, a significant focus is also helping states and territories identify offenders living undetected in Australia.

It is alleged the NZ man was facing multiple narcotic importation charges in NZ when he moved to a rural Victorian town in 2019.

The man has been remanded in custody and will now be subject to an extradition process.

The apprehension for an extradition process is the first for the newly established FAST.

AFP Assistant Commissioner Nigel Ryan said the apprehension served as a warning to those most dangerous and wanted fugitives hiding in Australia.

“The arrest for the extradition process from Australia is a considerable result in securing an outcome for what New Zealand Police allege was a significant drug importation network operating within New Zealand,” Assistant Commissioner Ryan said.

“There is no safe haven for foreign national criminals in Australia. The AFP, with our partner agencies, are relentless in ensuring those wanted for crimes face justice.

“The arrest by FAST continues to demonstrate the close relationships the AFP has with state and territory police and with New Zealand Police in combating transnational crime.”

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