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Australian police nab alleged hitman after 12-year hunt

SYDNEY (AFP) – Australian police have arrested a suspected mafia hitman after a 12-year nationwide manhunt during which he used disguises and even a fatsuit to evade capture after skipping bail.

The search ended on Monday when officers found Graham Potter hiding out in a derelict house in the small town of Ravenshoe, Queensland after a tip-off from the public.

In 2010, Potter fled before his court date, while facing serious charges including the allegation he was involved in a planned hit at an underworld wedding.

Potter was listed as one of the country’s 10 most wanted fugitives, with a AUD100,000 (USD72,000) reward offered for information leading to his capture.

Potter had already served 15 years in jail for the 1981 murder of a 19-year-old shop assistant.

Senior Victorian state police officer Mick Frewen yesterday hailed Potter’s capture, describing him as “a violent person” and “very high-end fugitive”.

Potter faces charges in Victoria of conspiracy to murder and over the distribution of 25,000 ecstasy tablets.