Serial conman Peter Foster has been tracked down and arrested in rural Victoria by a “highly-skilled” Australian Federal Police fugitive unit, six months after he failed to show in a Sydney court.
Foster, 59, was apprehended today near the Victorian town of Gisborne, in the Macedon Ranges, after a far-reaching investigation to identify his whereabouts.
Seven months later, in March, he was granted bail in New South Wales under strict conditions, which included wearing an electronic monitoring device.
Police declared Foster a fugitive.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Nigel Ryan said during the search warrant, Foster tried to evade the police.
“In the execution of the search warrant, Mr Foster did try to run,” Assistant Commissioner Ryan said.
“He didn’t get far from the back door.”
Assistant Commissioner Ryan said Foster was found at a home, which he described to be a “hobby farm”.
“Mr Foster was located at the premises with another individual and an investigation is underway as to what assistance had been provided or not by that individual.”
Assistant Commissioner Ryan said Foster was stunned by the search warrant, adding “surprised would be an understatement”.
During the arrest, Foster disclosed a medical condition and has been taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital, where he is being assessed.
Once Foster is released from hospital, Queensland Police will seek his extradition from Victoria.
He will then face the judicial process.
Foster was tracked down by the AFP’s Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team, which specialises in arrests in murder, child exploitation, manslaughter, drug trafficking, money laundering and serious fraud cases.
Mr Ryan hailed Foster’s arrest as a “considerable” result, based on close work between the AFP and Queensland Police.
“We have been working hand-in-glove together and this man would still be at large without their operational input,” Assistant Commissioner Ryan said.
Victoria Police, NSW Police and the AUSTRAC-led FINTEL Alliance were also involved in the manhunt.