Australian authorities on June 29 repatriated a former policeman wanted for armed robbery and narcotics offenses, officials said.
James McCabe, a 15-year police veteran in the state of Victoria and a former Australian Crime Commission officer in Cambodia, reportedly fled to Cambodia in 2004 to avoid prosecution for allegedly faking arrests to rob criminal suspects of cash and drugs.
The New South Wales Police Integrity Commission, an independent anticorruption body, said in a statement June 29 that Cambodian police arrested McCabe in Phnom Penh on June 22.
Deputy National Police Commissioner Sok Phal said July 2 that immigration police had arrested McCabe at the request of Australian authorities. “We have cooperated and we sent him back,” he said.
The Australian Embassy confirmed that it had sought and obtained McCabe’s extradition. McCabe was flown under guard to Sydney where he was remanded into custody pending trial, according to the Police Integrity Commission statement.
McCabe had reportedly admitted to a PIC hearing in 2004 that he was involved in a $25,000 drug heist but denied other charges before fleeing prosecution.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported in 2004 that McCabe was also suspected of having corruptly intercepted a 350 gram shipment of heroin from Cambodia to Sydney, which was meant to be monitored by police, a claim McCabe denied in a statement.
Sok Phal said that McCabe was not suspected of criminal activity within Cambodia.
McCabe’s deportation Friday occurred two years after the PIC first accused McCabe and Samuel Foster, a fellow Australian police officer who has since pleaded guilty, of being partners in crime.
While in Cambodia, McCabe also acted on behalf of the family of Eddie Gibson, a British teenager who disappeared while traveling in Cambodia in 2004.
The Australian paper The Herald Sun reported June 30 that Cambodian officials agreed to cooperate with Australian authorities after the PIC shared information on McCabe with Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Sok Phal said he was unaware of this information and said the delay was simply because police cooperation can take time. “Some cases [take] two years or three years,” he said.