“NSW’s most wanted man” captured trying to enter Queensland

After 17 days on the run, alleged drug kingpin Mostafa Baluch has been found while trying to cross the Queensland border.

Dubbed NSW’s most wanted man, Mostafa Baluch, who was part of a plan to import $270 million worth of cocaine from Ecuador, was found early yesterday morning after being on the run for over two weeks.

Police say they pulled over a truck as it crossed the Queensland border at about 1 am on November 10.

Image: Facebook

Police allege Baluch was hiding in a Mercedes 4WD which was being transported in the container.

Officers claim that when they knocked on the shipping container the 4WD was in, Baluch knocked back, thinking he had arrived at his destination.

Baluch disappeared from his home on Sydney’s northern beaches on October 25 while on bail after removing an ankle monitor. He was charged over an attempt to import 900 kilograms of cocaine into NSW and disappeared just days after he had been granted bail.

A manhunt involving police in NSW, Queensland, Victoria, and South Australia had been working around the clock for 17 days in an attempt to find him.

Officers earlier feared Baluch may have fled overseas as he had ties in other countries and there were people waiting for him internationally. 

Police said the truck was stopped after officers received a tip-off Baluch could be hiding inside a vehicle trying to cross the border. They had been checking trucks travelling through Tweed Heads when they noticed an unlocked container on the back of the truckBaluch was on.

Detective Superintendent Robert Critchlow said Baluch was a “bit shocked” he’d been discovered. 

The state has seized Baluch’s Northern Beaches home in Bayview, which was put forward as bail surety. The property is estimated to be worth around $4 million. Assistant Commissioner Smith said police would continue to seize more of Mr Baluch’s assets.

Baluch’s Bayview home. Image: The Daily Telegraph