Drug accused wanted for skipping bail in Melbourne

Drug accused wanted for skipping bail in Melbourne

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is appealing for information on the whereabouts of a man who is due to face trial as part of a conspiracy to import illicit drugs via light aircraft from California into Australia in 2017.

54-year-old Jim Soukoulis, who formerly lived in the Sydney suburb of Zetland, was arrested in July 2017.

His arrest followed an investigation involving the seizure of 255 kilograms of methamphetamine in California in June 2017, allegedly destined to be imported into Australia in a light aircraft.

The man was extradited to Melbourne following his arrest and was later bailed to live at an address in South Melbourne when released from custody in November 2017. As part of his bail conditions, a $900,000 security was posted, including $600,000 against his mother’s home.

He was also required to report daily to South Melbourne Police Station. His last report to Police was on 12 November 2019.

Yesterday (Thursday, 30 January 2019), the Melbourne County Court made a determination the man has absconded, and arrest warrants have been issued.

He was last seen in the carpark of his apartment building on Albert Road, South Melbourne, on the morning of 12 November 2019.

The man has connections in Sydney and family connections in Adelaide and Greece, and also frequently travelled to Thailand prior to his arrest.

The week before his last bail report, the man made a number of ATM withdrawals, in excess of more than $8,000 in cash. Police believe this was a well-planned attempt to flee.

The man is described as being 180cm tall, with a medium build, olive complexion, short grey hair and wears reading glasses. He has distinctive tattoos, including a Capricorn star sign on left chest, a Taurus bull on right chest and Greek mythology figure Medusa on his back.

His trial is due to commence on 20 April 2020 to face the following charges:

  • Conspiracy to import a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs, namely methamphetamine, contrary to section 307.1 and section 11.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
  • Deal with an instrument of crime etc- money worth $1,000,000 or more contrary to section 400.3 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
  • Deal with an instrument of crime etc- money worth $50,000 or more contrary to section 400.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

He was also facing the following charge which was proceeding through court:

  • One count of historic offending alleged to have occurred in 2013 - traffic a marketable quantity of controlled drugs, namely cocaine and methamphetamine, contrary to section 302.3 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)­.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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