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One of Australia's most-wanted criminals has been arrested after 12 years on the run, police have confirmed.
Graham Potter, a convicted murderer wanted on charges of drug trafficking and conspiracy to murder, was discovered by police in a run-down building on Monday, February 21, following a tip-off to authorities, who had spent more than a decade searching for him.
The 64-year-old was found in Ravenshoe, Queensland, thousands of miles from Melbourne, Victoria, where he was last seen in 2010.
Footage of the arrest showed a dishevelled Potter standing on top of cardboard crates and wire-fence animal enclosures as police handcuffed him and led him away. Police said he had initially tried to give police a false name, but his true identity was quickly confirmed using biometrics.
Potter had previously spent time in prison for the murder of a teenage girl in 1981, but was released just 15 years into a life imprisonment sentence. He was wanted by police in connection with a $440 million AUD haul of ecstasy and cocaine, and was also accused of having been hired to kill a man at the wedding of the son of an organised crime boss in 2008.
The BBC reports that after several reported sightings of Potter in the area of Ravenshoe over the years the case officially went cold in 2017, with Victoria Police offering a reward of $100,000 AUD for anyone who could provide information leading to his arrest.
Police said that over the years Potter had used disguises including wigs and fat suits to avoid detection, and that the wanted criminal was believed to have been living in the house for a number of years.
'We believe that he has been in the area for the last 12 years at least. His last credible sighting was in Tully in 2010, and he avoided capture at that time,' Detective Inspector Kevin Goan told reporters. 'We’ve had information over a number of years that he may have been frequenting that residence.'
Goan credited Potter's capture to 'concerned' Queenslanders who contacted the police over sightings of the high-profile fugitive, saying, 'North Queenslanders have a particular tolerance to what they’re prepared to accept in their own home environment.'
According to The Age, local residents reported having spotted Potter 'running around naked in his backyard', and described the property as a 'rats' nest'.
Victoria Police confirmed that Potter would be extradited from Queensland to face charges.
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