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How a single phone call led to the dramatic arrest of underworld drug kingpin Tony Mokbel

Tony Mokbel was arrested after giving vital clues of his whereabouts during a phone call home after a friend passed away, an underworld source has claimed.

The 55-year-old underworld figure was arrested in Greece in June 2007 after fleeing Australia while on trial for cocaine smuggling.

Mokbel fled the country to Europe by boat, sparking an international manhunt for the career criminal, who was on the run from law enforcement for more than a year.

Police were able to find Mokbel after tapping his phone lines and learning valuable details from a conversation between Mokbel and Joe Mansour.

A snitch known as Informer 3030 gave police a list of phone numbers to track Mokbel after speaking with Mansour and another man named David.

Tony Mokbel (pictured centre) was arrested in Greece in 2007 after fleeing his drug trial by boat

Tony Mokbel (pictured centre) was arrested in Greece in 2007 after fleeing his drug trial by boat

Mokbel had called to offer his condolences to David after his father Max died of a heart attack.

Informer 3030 earned a reward of more than $1million for his role in finding the fugitive drug trafficker.

The Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants heard Nicola Gobbo also played an important role in having Mokbel extradited to Australia.

Ms Gobbo -Melbourne’s infamous ‘Lawyer X’ – was police informer 3838 and was instrumental in bringing Mokbel to justice.

‘She had for example, played a pivotal role in the dismantling of the Mokbel drug syndicate and the ultimate recapture of Mokbel in Greece,’ Former chief commissioner Simon Overland told the royal commission, as reported by The Herald Sun.

Mokbel had asked Ms Gobbo to come to Greece with him, and she gave details to police after he contacted her following his capture. 

Nicola 'Lawyer X' Gobbo (pictured) played an integral role in bringing Mokbel to justice

Nicola ‘Lawyer X’ Gobbo (pictured) played an integral role in bringing Mokbel to justice

Ms Gobbo was registered as an informer three times and helped police bring down a number of her former clients including Tony Mokbel and Carl Williams.

Jailed underworld figure Mokbel is one of nearly a dozen people currently appealing convictions they claim were tainted by Ms Gobbo’s informing.

He spent 15 months on the run after fleeing his 2006 drug trial, in which more than 15 million pills hidden in tomato cans from Italy were found.

Evidence suggests both federal and state prosecution agencies knew Ms Gobbo was working as an informer during the trafficking case.

Zlate Cvetanovski was freed on bail while he awaits his appeal, after spending almost a decade in jail, while Faruk Orman had his murder conviction quashed by Victoria’s Court of Appeal last year.

Victoria Police sensationally apologised for the gangland barrister’s involvement as a police informant, and said steps had been taken to ensure it could ‘never happen again’.

Mokbel had asked Ms Gobbo (pictured) to come with him to Greece and she gave police vital evidence to have him extradited to Australia

Mokbel had asked Ms Gobbo (pictured) to come with him to Greece and she gave police vital evidence to have him extradited to Australia

‘It was an indefensible interference in the lawyer/client relationship, a relationship that is essential to the proper functioning of the criminal justice system and to the rule of law,’ a police spokeswoman said.

‘Our failure at that time to ensure that these circumstances were identified and disclosed was also a significant and missed opportunity to right a wrong.’

‘We have taken steps to make sure that what happened with Ms Gobbo can never happen again.’  

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