Opal bandit flees to freedom while guard on toilet

THE officer responsible for taking Hervey Bay's opal bandit prisoner back to Germany was on the toilet when the crim fled.

Details of the escape from custody at Bangkok International Airport have been shared as part of a Fair Work Australia Commission unfair dismissal case against Serco Australia.

Carlo Konstantin Kohl was arrested in Hervey Bay in April 2010, ending a 10-month stint on the run.

Kohl was sentenced to nine years jail in the Supreme Court in Brisbane for drug offences in River Heads between 2007 and 2009.

He was running up to 1000 ecstasy tablets a week valued at $25,000 including regular weekly drops off to Rainbow Beach.

Kohl was also found guilty of bringing $165,000 worth of opals into Queensland stolen from a business in Coober Pedy in South Australia.

The 25-year-old was in transit back to Germany to face outstanding charges when he managed to evade guards contracted by the Immigration Department.

The commission heard the officer in charge of his custody left Kohl in a shower while he went to the toilet for three minutes, without telling a female escort to watch the prisoner.

Fair Work Australia found reasonable grounds for Tom Martin's dismissal, which included his failure to report the escape within a crucial time frame.


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