New AFP fugitive 'strike team' established

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A man wanted on drug importation charges in New Zealand has been arrested in Victoria as part of a new federal police 'strike team' targeting offshore fugitives wanted by Australia and vice versa.

The man was arrested by the new Australian Federal Police strike team on April 29 and is now subject to an extradition process to NZ.

Federal police say he was facing multiple narcotic importation charges in New Zealand when he moved to a rural Victorian town in 2019.

It was the first such arrest by the AFP's Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team, established in February to primarily target Australia's offshore fugitives but also Australia-based runaways from other countries.

"The arrest for the extradition process from Australia is a considerable result in securing an outcome for what New Zealand Police allege was a significant drug importation network operating within New Zealand,'' Assistant Commissioner Nigel Ryan said in a statement on Tuesday.

"There is no safe haven for foreign national criminals in Australia."

The AFP said it would initially target 43 offshore fugitives wanted by Australian authorities, including for murder, manslaughter, drug trafficking and fraud.

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw said the agency had personnel posted in 33 countries and strong relationships with other nations and agencies.