04 December 2023, 6:20am
Sydney man arrested following deportation from Turkiye
This is a joint media release between the AFP and NSW Police Force
Note to editors: vision and images of the arrest are available here.
A Sydney man accused of a number of organised crime offences was yesterday (3 December 2023) arrested by the AFP in Darwin, following his deportation from Türkiye.
The man, 28, was deported by Turkish authorities and landed in Darwin yesterday afternoon, where he was arrested by members of the AFP’s Transnational Offshore Disruption Taskforce, known as Operation Gain.
The alleged offender has been a priority for Operation Gain since 2022. The man had left Australia unlawfully in 2022.
The man is scheduled to face Darwin Magistrates Court today (4 December 2023), where NSW Police will make an application to extradite him to NSW. The AFP office in Ankara notified Turkish authorities the man had allegedly illegally entered Türkiye in 2022 using a false passport, and was allegedly associating with a number of organised crime figures with significant Australian links.
Further inquiries by Turkish authorities established he was living in the city of Bodrum, on the country’s south-western coast. The man was arrested and transferred to immigration detention by Turkish authorities in January 2023, where he has remained until his deportation.
The man was arrested in Darwin at about 2.25pm local time on an arrest warrant obtained by NSW Police to charge the man with a number of serious criminal offences. These include conspiracy to murder, knowingly direct the activities of a criminal group, supply a prohibited drug, deal in the proceeds of crime and contravene a serious crime prevention order.
AFP Eastern Command Assistant Commissioner Stephen Dametto welcomed the decision by Turkish authorities to deport the man.
“The AFP has long-standing relationships with the Turkish National Police and what is evident, and activity in the past few months underscores this point, is that Turkish authorities have no tolerance for transnational serious organised crime operating in their country,’’ Assistant Commissioner Dametto said.
“Australians who think they can hide offshore in perceived safe havens and avoid facing Australian courts for their alleged crimes need to heed this warning; the AFP is relentless in our pursuit to ensure you face justice,” he said.
“Operation Gain targets the most prominent overseas-based offenders of interest to all Australian law enforcement agencies, disrupts their criminal activities and ultimately ensures these alleged criminals are held to account for their actions.
“More than 70 per cent of the transnational serious organised criminals who target Australia are offshore. One-by-one, these alleged criminals are being extradited or deported to Australia to face the justice system.
“We have plans for other targets and it is just a matter of time before the long arm of the AFP reaches them.
“The AFP’s presence in 34 countries, underscored by relationships maintained over decades, allows us to identify where offenders are hiding, and share relevant intelligence with our trusted partners.”
NSW Police Force State Crime Command’s Assistant Commissioner Michael Fitzgerald said the deportation was a great result for law enforcement in Australia.
“State Crime Command’s Criminal Groups Squad have worked tenaciously on this investigation over the past four years and are currently in Darwin preparing for the man’s extradition to NSW in the coming days,” Assistant Commissioner Fitzgerald said.
“Once in NSW, he will face a series of charges relating to his alleged role as a director of a criminal group and conspiracy to murder – serious and violent crimes that carry equally serious jail time.
“I want to thank the Australian Federal Police and Operation Gain for their role in deporting this man back to Australia, where our detectives will ensure he faces the full consequences of his actions.”
Note to media:
Media are encouraged to include help-seeking information in stories about illicit drugs to minimise any negative impact on people in the community. The following services provide people with access to support and information.
- 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.
AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297
NSW Police Force: (02) 8835 8339