The Federal Court has issued an arrest warrant for alleged fraudster Bill Papas, which will allow his extradition from Greece.
He was alleged to have repeatedly disobeyed court orders, breached freezing orders and showed no intention of returning to Australia.
Justice Michael Lee issued the warrant on Wednesday to arrest and detain Mr Papas until he attends court to face charges against him, including contempt of court and “serious allegations” that he was the ringleader of a $400 million fraud against Westpac and other banks.
This type of order would typically be referred to federal government agencies overseeing the extradition negotiations with Greece to compel Mr Papas to return to Australia, which could take months.
Justice Lee said on Wednesday the arrest warrant was necessary because Mr Papas had displayed no genuine effort to return to Australia after flying to Greece in June and had provided “less than satisfactory information to his solicitors” about his whereabouts.
The court heard Mr Papas had allegedly breached freezing orders by sending two payments totalling $720,000 in July to his cousin Eric Constantinidis through an online trading account called MacroVue.
“There is no basis, let alone a reasonable basis, for thinking Mr Papas is likely to return to Australia from Greece on any firm date,” he said. “Accordingly, I’m satisfied that I should issue a warrant for Mr Papas’ arrest and detention in custody before he is brought before the court.”