The self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) has deported Australian fugitive Mark Buddle to Turkey, where he is being processed before his handover to Australia, Agence France-Presse reported on Tuesday, citing KKTC officials.
Buddle, 44, is wanted for questioning in Australia in connection with a fatal shooting in 2010 and alleged links to a drug cartel, according to Australian media reports.
The interior ministry of the KKTC — recognized only by Ankara — said Buddle received a residence permit in the statelet last August thanks to his “high income.”
But the republic’s police directorate then concluded that Buddle’s presence was “inconvenient in terms of public peace and security”, its interior ministry said in a statement.
Buddle was transferred to Ankara on Sunday “under the supervision of two police officers,” the statement said.
“Legal proceedings are continuing in Ankara for the extradition of Mark Douglas Buddle … to his home country,” the statement said.
Security officials in Turkey gave no immediate comment.
Australian media identified Buddle as one of the country’s most wanted men.
He allegedly plays a leading role in the “Aussie Cartel,” smuggling drugs into the nation of 26 million people.
The KKTC proclaimed itself a state in 1983, nine years after Turkey launched an operation on the island in response to a coup engineered by Athens that sought to annex the island to Greece.
It relies heavily on economic and other assistance from Ankara.