Aristides Avlonitis to be extradited to WA after drug bust arrest


36-year-old Aristides Avlonitis, 36, will be extradited to Western Australia from Darwin in the Northern Territory after he was arrested by the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

Avlonitis was arrested at a home in Darwin on Wednesday morning and is due to appear in court today. He will face a charge of importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.

The AFP were searching for Avlonitis and two other men, Mate Stipinovich, 49, and Karl Whitburn, 45, in connection with a massive seizure of cocaine allegedly stashed in an abandoned fishing boat and found washed ashore near Albany, WA.

According to The Guardian, Avlonitis, Stipinovich and Whitburn were found clinging to an esky in the ocean off Albany on February 1, telling authorities their boat had capsized while they were fishing.

The capsized boat. Photo: Australian Federal Police.

Six days later, a black package containing multiple packages of cocaine washed ashore near Denmark, 423 kilometres south-east of Perth.

The AFP said a seven-metre boat was also found overturned off Peaceful Bay the following day with more cocaine inside.

Police suspect the shipment was collected from the ocean and don’t believe the story about the men’s boat capsizing, Nine News has reported.

Police are still calling for the public’s help to find Stipinovich and Whitburn.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald.

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