Comedy From the only in Australia files

Jethro

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Fugitive Briton, 57, arrested after fleeing Australia on jet ski, armed with crossbow

27 MARCH 2019
A British man wanted over alleged drugs offences was arrested after fleeing 90 miles on a jet ski from Australia to Papua New Guinea armed with a crossbow.

Border police were tipped off that a man "carrying additional fuel and supplies" had been seen launching the jet ski from the Cape York peninsula, in the northern-most part of Queensland.

Officers from three different police agencies piling onto a Border Force vessel and gave chase, pursuing the jet ski across the Torres Strait.

The suspect, a 57-year-old man wanted for alleged drugs offences in Western Australia, was eventually arrested on mudflats just a few miles from the Papua New Guinea mainland.

Officers caught up with the man on the eastern side of Saibai Island, which is part of Australia, after he had managed to travel nearly 90 miles across the Torres Strait.

Jock O’Keeffe, of Queensland police, told The Guardian: “He gave it a red-hot go. It’s a bit unusual to try and get from Pundsand Bay all the way to PNG. He stuck out like the proverbial.”

The man, who was taken into custody at sea, was reported to have been carrying a crossbow throughout his journey but appeared to have abandoned it shortly before his arrest.

He was taken to Thursday Island where he was held by Queensland police pending extradition to Western Australia.

Jo Crooks, of the Australian Border Force (ABF), said: "We have the ability to detect a range of border threats, including suspicious movements through the region. Anyone who thinks they can either enter or leave Australia through the region without detection should think again."

A spokesman for the AFP added: "This arrest sends a strong message to would-be fugitives - our reach across Australia is second to none and we will use all our contacts and relationships to find you and bring you before a court."

Torres Strait councillors and residents are understood to have helped authorities identify the path the fugitive was likely have taken across the sea on his way to the mainland.

The man will face one count of possession of a prohibited drug with intent to sell supply (methylamphetamine) and possession of stolen or unlawfully obtained property when he appears at Cairns Magistrates Court on Friday.

According to the court records, he has pleaded guilty to both charges. A warrant for his arrest had been issued on February 26.

The Australian navy carries out regular patrols of the Torres Strait, in part to enforce a policy of turning back asylum seekers who attempt to reach the country by boat.

WA Police said in a statement: "WA Police Force is aware of the arrest made in the Torres Strait by Queensland Police and Commonwealth law enforcement agencies.

"Based on this development WA Police Force is currently assessing the potential extradition process."
Thankfully he didn't make it to PNG, one of the more dangerous places to visit on the planet.
 
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