CANBERRA, Australia (Reuters) -- Australia's most wanted fugitive, a convicted drug mobster linked to the murder of a rival drug lord, has been arrested by police in Greece after more than a year on the run.
Tony Mokbel, known as "Fat Tony", is being held in an Athens jail and Australian police said on Wednesday they would seek his extradition to complete a nine-year minimum jail sentence for trafficking cocaine.
"The arrested man had forged Australian documents - passport, driver's licence - and was disguised wearing a wig," Greek police said in a statement.
It said Mokbel was "one of the most internationally wanted persons for serious narcotics and homicide cases". An Athens prosecutor charged him with using a forged passport.
Mokbel was captured in a cafeteria in the Athens coastal suburb of Glyfada on information provided by Australian authorities. Australian police had posted a A$1 million ($833,000) reward for information leading to his arrest.
Mokbel faces trial at home where authorities allege he ordered and paid for the murder of rival crime boss Lewis Moran in a Melbourne club in 2004.
He is reported to have fled Australia dressed as a priest. Mokbel told Greek police he had been living in Greece for the last 9 months with his girlfriend and two young children.
He is being investigated by Greek authorities for other possible illegal activity in Greece, the statement said. A police official said Mokbel had set up a shipping company in Glyfada with a business partner.
"This was most likely a cover for money-laundering from drug dealing," the official told Reuters. "He has denied involvement in any murders or money-laundering in Australia."
Australian police raided 22 properties in the state of Victoria, which led to the arrests of eight men suspected of being part of a drug-trafficking and financing network still controlled by Mokbel.
"We believe that Mokbel was directing and organizing production and distribution of drugs overseas, was in regular contact with associates in Melbourne and associates in Victoria (who were) distributing cash proceeds of drug sales to him using international banking accounts and cash transfers," Victorian state Police Commissioner Christine Nixon said in Melbourne.
Australia will have 45 days to outline its case for extradition once the fugitive is served with an arrest warrant.
Moran's death in 2004 was one of a string of gang murders which left 28 people dead over 10 years in a tit-for-tat drugs turf war in Melbourne, Australia's second largest city.
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