Bikie boss faces Melbourne court after extradition over drug charges

| 06.08,22. 12:05 AM |

Bikie boss faces Melbourne court after extradition over drug charges


AFP officers escorted Mark Buddle on a chartered flight from Darwin to Melbourne this morning.
AFP officers escorted Mark Buddle on a chartered flight from Darwin to Melbourne this morning. (AFP)

Former fugitive Comanchero boss Mark Buddle has faced court over allegations he imported about $40 million worth of cocaine into Melbourne.
The 37-year-old was extradited on a chartered flight from Darwin on Friday morning.
"AFP officers have escorted a man, 37, on a chartered flight from Darwin to Melbourne this morning to face two charges for allegedly importing cocaine worth about $40 million," a statement said.
Buddle's extradition to Melbourne was originally delayed amid "security concerns".
He faced Melbourne Magistrates Court, charged with one count of importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug and one count of conspiring to import a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug.
Both offences carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Buddle was arrested at Darwin airport on Wednesday after being deported from Turkey a day earlier.
Mark Buddle, pictured here in 2012, has been arrested by the AFP after his extradition from Turkey.
Mark Buddle, pictured here in 2012, was arrested by the AFP after his extradition from Turkey. (AAP)
He was charged on Thursday over allegations he imported more than 160kg of cocaine into Melbourne in May last year.
The charges stem from Operation Ironside, which monitored communications shared using the ANOM app.
The app was set up by authorities under the guise of offering organised crime figures a safe encrypted messaging service when in reality it was being monitored by the AFP and FBI.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Nigel Ryan said Operation Ironside had tracked encrypted communications showing cocaine would be shipped from Hong Kong to Melbourne and Sydney.
"This investigation has been going for a significant amount of time," Ryan said.
Mark Buddle was escorted on a charter flight to Darwin from Turkey and will face court today.
Mark Buddle was arrested at Darwin Airport on Wednesday, six years after fleeing the country. (AFP)
Buddle's "complex" arrest, Ryan said, would deal a serious blow to drug syndicates operating in Australia and offshore.
More than 250 people have been charged in Australia under the operation.
- Reported with Buddle was arrested at Darwin airport on Wednesday after being deported from Turkey a day earlier.
Mark Buddle, pictured here in 2012, has been arrested by the AFP after his extradition from Turkey.
Mark Buddle, pictured here in 2012, was arrested by the AFP after his extradition from Turkey. (AAP)
He was charged on Thursday over allegations he imported more than 160kg of cocaine into Melbourne in May last year.
The charges stem from Operation Ironside, which monitored communications shared using the ANOM app.
The app was set up by authorities under the guise of offering organised crime figures a safe encrypted messaging service when in reality it was being monitored by the AFP and FBI.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Nigel Ryan said Operation Ironside had tracked encrypted communications showing cocaine would be shipped from Hong Kong to Melbourne and Sydney.
"This investigation has been going for a significant amount of time," Ryan said.
Mark Buddle was escorted on a charter flight to Darwin from Turkey and will face court today.
Mark Buddle was arrested at Darwin Airport on Wednesday, six years after fleeing the country. (AFP)
Buddle's "complex" arrest, Ryan said, would deal a serious blow to drug syndicates operating in Australia and offshore.
More than 250 people have been charged in Australia under the operation.




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