Australia violated human rights of man held in Serbia over $500m drug haul, lawyer argues
Two Australian men accused of being involved in the importation of $500 million worth of drugs are set to be extradited from Serbia.
A Belgrade court has ruled that Tristan Waters and Rohan Arnold meet the conditions to be extradited after a request was made by Australian authorities.
Police allege the men were involved in the importation of $500 million worth of cocaine placed in a shipping container of pre-fabricated steel that arrived in a Sydney port from China last April.
The men were arrested at a Belgrade hotel last month.
A third suspect, David Campbell, 48, will remain in Serbia as his case is heard.
At the time, local police released a video of the men’s arrest — which shows armed police pinning the men down and handcuffing them face-down.
A bag filled with $1 million in foreign currency — including banknotes from Europe, Australia, China, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam — was shown, and police said the arrests were made during a “money handover”.
A gun was also found.
A bag containing wads of foreign currency was found in the hotel where the men were arrested. (Supplied: Serbian Interior Ministry)
Last month, Mr Arnold’s business partner Brendan Abbey said they were due to open the $16 million Western Victorian Livestock Exchange in Mortlake.
The saleyards are tipped to be the most modern in Australia, with stock agents as far as the Northern Territory expected to bring cattle to the facility’s first sale in three days.
Mr Abbey said the news of his business partner’s arrest “came completely out of the blue”.
Serbian police footage showed the men lying on the ground with their hands cuffed behind their backs. (Supplied: Serbian Interior Ministry)