Mostafa Baluch: Alleged drug lord discusses plea deal
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Mostafa Baluch: Alleged drug lord discusses plea deal

The former fugitive and alleged drug lord of the millionaire caught trying to flee from police in a Mercedes parked in a shipping container has begun discussing a possible plea deal with authorities, a court has said.

Mostafa Baluch was reportedly a driving force behind an attempt to import an estimated 900 kilograms of cocaine into Australia, worth an estimated $270 million.

Mostafa Baluch: Alleged drug lord discusses plea deal

Camera icon Mostafa Baluch launched a police manhunt while he was on bail. Facebook credit: Delivered camera icon. He was hidden behind this vehicle. NSW Police Credit: Included

The former owner of the Cervo restaurant has not pleaded to a range of charges, including conspiracy to import a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug, attempted obstruction or perforation of justice, and use of network-connected equipment to commit a serious crime. Crime and dealing with suspected proceeds of crime.

He was given strict conditional bail after charges were initially filed, but police allege he cut off an ankle bracelet tracking device before launching a 16-day manhunt last year.

Mr. Baluch, 34, was eventually caught hiding in the back of a Mercedes parked in a shipping container on the back of a lorry on the NSW/Queensland border.

Camera icons container and car at the place where Mr. Baluch was arrested. NSW Police Credit: Included

Police believe he planned to leave Australia and flee to the Balkans in Europe.

Mr. Baluch has been remanded in custody since he was re-arrested, and his case was briefly mentioned in Sydney’s central local court on Wednesday.

No lawyer appeared on his behalf, and Mr. Baluch was also absent.

Camera icon Mr. Baluch was flown to Sydney after being extradited from Queensland following his dramatic arrest. Richard Dobson Credit: News Corp Australia

Magistrate Alison Viney said an email had been received from Mr. Baluch’s legal representative, who had requested that the case be adjourned again while another oral argument was taking place.

“It’s now been listed three times for filing after a case conference, and I’m still getting email appearances from the defense that the case has another case conference,” Ms. Viney told the court.

“It has to be finished at some point.

“I will lead the defense attorney at the next opportunity.”

The prosecutor in court told Ms. Viney that Mr. Baluch had negotiated possible pleadings and that one of the reasons the case was adjourned was related to the format in which the evidence was presented.

“There were… messages in PDF (format),” the prosecutor said.

“Defence has requested those same messages in Excel form.”

Mr. Baluch remains in pre-trial detention, and the case will be referred to court on June 15.