UK jet skier arrested fleeing Australia

The UK man on his jet skiImage copyright
AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE

Image caption

The man had left from the northern tip of Australia’s mainland, police say

A UK man has been arrested on a remote island in Australia while trying to flee the country on a jet ski, authorities say.

The 57-year-old man was taken into custody on Saibai Island, about 4km (2.5 miles) south of Papua New Guinea.

Police said he had launched his jet ski on Monday from the tip of Australia’s mainland, about 150km to the south.

The man, who had been wanted on drugs charges, was thought to have been carrying a crossbow, authorities said.

He was found on mudflats on Saibai Island, one of a string of islands in the Torres Strait which belong to Australia.

“This arrest sends a strong message to would-be fugitives – our reach across Australia is second to none,” an Australian Federal Police spokesperson said on Wednesday.

The man was tracked by federal and state police on an Australian Border Force vessel after he was seen leaving Punsand Bay, in Queensland’s far north, on Monday.

He was believed to be carrying a crossbow and other supplies at the time, but police could not immediately confirm which items were found with him on Saibai Island.

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The man is expected to be extradited to Western Australia to face drug-related charges.

Australian naval vessels regularly patrol the Torres Strait, in part to enforce a controversial policy of turning back asylum seekers who attempt to reach the nation by boat.

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