Foster is in custody in Port Vila after being arrested by Vanuatu and Australian Federal Police yesterday
He has not been
charged with any offences but is expected to face a count of illegally entering
four countries had been searching for the 44-year-old since he disappeared from
military custody in Fiji last week.
alert was issued for him on Thursday after the AFP said they had information that he was
seen swimming ashore from a yacht in Vanuatu on January 8. They said he had left Suva on board the boat on January 5.
Foster were two Australian expatriates who were with him at the time. The
couple, long-time residents of Vanuatu, are likely to face charges of harbouring
an illegal alien.
consistently maintained that he was still in Fiji but in hiding because the military had
apparently reneged on a deal he did with Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama to help
uncover corruption in the ousted government.
He was awaiting
trial on three charges relating to allegedly having used a forged Queensland
Police Service criminal history to obtain a Fiji work permit.
Australian police revealed that acting on a written request from the police
commissioner of the Federated States of Micronesia, they were investigating
Foster over allegedly defrauding a bank of $US580,000 ($F971,384) in a land
It is believed he
is likely to be extradited to Australia to face questioning over this once he is
dealt with by the Vanuatu courts.
lawyers have now been charged with immigration and firearms offences and their
ex-Australian Navy minesweeper has been seized on suspicion they smuggled
Foster out of Fiji.
The two, and an
Australian man and woman, were arrested on Tuesday after arriving in Port Vila
in their converted dive and salvage boat, the Retriever 1, preparing to look
for sunken wrecks in Vanuatu waters. It is likely they will now face additional
charges related to smuggling Foster into the country.