Cult leader arrested in Fiji

2011-06-26 09:32

kalahari.com

Sydney - An Australian doomsday cult leader who disappeared 13 months ago after police found weapons stockpiled on his Adelaide property has been arrested in Fiji, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

Rocco Leo, 55, head of the Agape Ministries of God, was arrested by Fijian police on visa violations after a dramatic commando style raid on a beachside resort near Suva where he was living with some of his followers, the Sunday Mail said.

Police stormed ashore to raid the gated compound and seized a 15m yacht Leo used to sail around the islands to escape detection, the paper said.

Australian police began investigating Leo and the cult in March 2010 after several members claimed he had taken hundreds of thousands of dollars they had donated and used it for his personal use.

The newspaper said former cult members claimed that Leo, a former brothel owner, had told them the government would microchip their brains and kill any dissidents. He also allegedly told them he needed money to buy a Pacific island for them to build a Christian colony and survive the coming holocaust.

126 fraud charges

The Australian Tax Office said Leo owes 1.75 million Australian dollars. Some members of the church filed suit alleging that Leo owes them a total of 1.9 million Australian dollars. The Sunday Mail said police issued a warrant for Leo's arrest in last month on 126 fraud charges.

Ninety Adelaide police raided Leo's property - a former Adelaide mental hospital - in May 2010 after some followers claimed he was about to smuggle weapons overseas.

Leo escaped, but four men were arrested. Police told an Adelaide court in May 2010 that they had found 20 000 rounds of ammunition, illegal firearms, batons, fuses, detonators and detonator cords.

Government contacts between Australia and Fiji have been strained since Fiji's military coup in 2006, and there is no extradition treaty.

But police were said to be hoping that Leo would be deported back to Australia for the visa violations.

- SAPA

Read more on:    australia  |  security
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Delft - 20:37 PM
    Road name: R300 Southbound
    ROADWORKS - left lane closed at Hindle Road
  • Wednesday Sir Lowry's Pass - 17:57 PM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 8520

Wi-Fi enabled With the BlackBerry Curve 8520 connect to your home...

From R1100.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.