Police hunt for Sydney's 'Pablo Escobar'

Mostafa Baluch was charged with being part of a conspiracy to import more than 900kg of cocaine.
Mostafa Baluch was charged with being part of a conspiracy to import more than 900kg of cocaine.

Arrest warrants have been issued for the accused Sydney drug trafficker - dubbed "our Pablo Escobar" by NSW's police minister - who skipped bail on Monday evening.

Federal and international police are involved in the manhunt for Mostafa Baluch, a 33-year-old from Sydney's northern beaches.

Baluch was granted bail on Friday, despite facing a lengthy spell in jail if convicted of conspiring to import almost a tonne of cocaine.

Police Minister David Elliott said officers involved in the case were devastated and he was furious Baluch was granted bail.

"Quite frankly, this guy was our Pablo Escobar," he told Sydney radio 2GB on Wednesday.

"This guy was (allegedly) part of an international racket with levels of drugs we have never seen before."

Baluch was arrested in June and charged with being part of a conspiracy to import more than 900kg of cocaine.

He was in custody until granted bail after putting up a $4 million property as surety.

It was a condition of his bail that he wear an electronic monitor, but on Monday night he cut off the ankle bracelet, which was found ditched by the side of a road on the northern beaches.

Police say Baluch may have been seen travelling eastbound in a black Range Rover with at least two other men on the M4 near Croydon about 2.30am on Tuesday.

They're calling for dashcam footage or information about the movement of the vehicle, which has Queensland plates and the registration 861CU3.

The car was seized by investigators about 7.20am on Wednesday.

With the help of federal authorities, detectives are searching airports and ports, and other transportation routes across the country.

Mr Elliott said NSW Police had technology, manpower and international law enforcement credentials, but the hunt would be a "tough job".

"Of course we've also got to explain to some of those international law enforcement organisations how he was lost," he said.

Police "work their guts out to keep our community safe" and had been "let down by the system", he said.

"We're dealing with international drug lords who are associated with things like terrorism or kidnapping or prostitution," Mr Elliott said.

Opposition police spokesman Walt Secord said the government should look at changing the law, so people accused of large-scale drug trafficking were refused bail.

"NSW Police Minister David Elliot talking tough is fine, but the buck stops with him...If the Perrottet government doesn't like the way judges are interpreting their laws, then they should change them," Mr Secord said.

Australian Associated Press