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Turkish 'Drug Lord' Out on Bail

Alleged Turkish-Australian drug lord Hakan Ayik has been released from custody in north Cyprus after two Turkish Cypriots paid a 64,100 USD bond as bail, according to information from Anadolu news agency.

On the 23rd December, Turkish-Cypriot police arrested the 32-year-old Ayik, who is wanted in Australia for running a drug cartel. The suspect was caught in Kyrenia and police have also confiscated drug paraphernalia after he reportedly crossed to the north from the government-controlled areas.

One of Australia's most-wanted men, Ayik fled the country in August after his Chinese business partner Man Kong Ho was arrested in Hong Kong. Ho and Ayik are alleged to be linked to multiple drug importations into Sydney and Melbourne. It is unclear whether Australian authorities will be able to get access to Ayik since the Turkish-Cypriot authorities and Turkey do not have extradition agreements with the country.

Ayik has been in Cyprus since November, when he was reported to have escaped Turkish-Cypriot police custody. Whether the authorities in the north can now keep tabs on Ayik - who has reportedly fled three countries in the last six months - remains to be seen.

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Total votes: 13