Father of rugby star arrested for drug trafficking

ONE of Indonesia’s most-wanted drug suspects has been arrested in the country after an international manhunt and efforts were underway to have the suspect extradited to Jakarta, Indonesian and Philippine officials said.

Philippine Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco on Friday said Gregor Johann Haas (pic), 46, was detained in Bogo, Cebu, after the Interpol issued a red notice stemming from a criminal complaint filed against him by Indonesian authorities.

Tansingco described Haas as “a high-profile fugitive for being an alleged member of the Sinaloa cartel, a large international organised crime syndicate based in Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico that specialises in drug trafficking and money laundering activities.”

Media reports say Haas is the father of popular Australian rugby league player Payne Haas.

Indonesian authorities have implicated Haas in an attempt to smuggle into Indonesia in December a shipment of floor ceramics filled with more than five kilograms of methamphetamine, the Bureau of Immigration in Manila said.

“The drugs were seized by Indonesian authorities who later discovered via testimonies elicited from drug couriers that the packages were sent by Haas from Guadalajara, Mexico,” it said.

In Jakarta, Krishma Murti, the head of the National Police’s International Relation Division, said that authorities wanted Haas to be flown to Indonesia immediately and face an investigation.

“We suspect he has networks all over Asia and in Australia,” Murti said.

Haas was flown from Cebu province to an immigration detention centre in Metropolitan Manila while deportation proceedings were underway, the Philippine immigration bureau said without elaborating. — AP

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