National News

Thailand to send drug accused to Australia

A Thai court has agreed to extradite an Australian man facing charges over his alleged role in a major Australian drug syndicate worth over $A1.2 million in cocaine and methamphetamines.

Robert Gordon Pollybank Gee, 60, wanted by South Australian police, fled to Thailand in 2011 after a co-defendant provided detailed information to the Crown over Gee's alleged key role in the syndicate.

In 2006 Gee had been arrested in Australia along with Mark Norman Millard, Leslie Graham Richards, and Adrian Jeremy Brown, as part of an Australian Drug Investigation Branch operation.

The Australian police operation netted cocaine and methamphetamines worth an estimated $A1.2 million along with $A264,000 in cash.

Media reports said Richards appealed an 11-year two-month sentence with a non-parole period of seven years, after providing a detailed statement to police of his involvement and Gee's alleged "extensive" drug operation.

Gee was out on bail awaiting trial with rights to travel overseas after posting bail of $A10,000.

From 2007 to 2010 Gee travelled to Fiji, Indonesia and Thailand and returned to Australia. But in 2011 Gee failed to attend a pre-trial hearing. In 2012, reports said Gee was said to be living in Thailand.

In September 2016 Gee, under a false Canadian passport, was arrested by Thai police at a bar on the resort island of Phuket in a joint operation with Australian Federal Police (AFP).

On Monday a Thai judge set a 90-day time frame to extradite Gee after the trial for travel document forgery was complete.

Gee, according to Thai media reports, said he was taking steps to appeal the Thai travel document charges.

The Thai Criminal Court said it had agreed to the Australian extradition request as the charges in Thailand "did not involve politics or military related activities".

© AAP 2018