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Australian fugitive accused of attacking flight attendants is finally caught two months after he fled Thailand on a 'stolen' yacht with his special forces brother and sailed 4,000km back to home soil

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 15/09/2018 Claudia Poposki

a close up of a man: Owen Van Duren (pictured) is accused of fleeing Thailand, where he had spent six months in custody © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Owen Van Duren (pictured) is accused of fleeing Thailand, where he had spent six months in custody A 37-year-old Australian man accused of stealing a $750,000 luxury boat in Thailand and sailing it to Australia has been arrested in the Northern Territory.

Owen Van Duren is accused of fleeing Thailand, where he had spent six months in custody.

He fled after receiving bail and appealing a jail sentence for the brutal assault of two airline hostesses during a Thai Airways flight between Bangkok and Sydney last year.

Van Duren allegedly hired the 40-foot 'Pina Colada' catamaran with his brother Shane, 43, of Canberra, on July 8 in Thailand. 

a small boat in a large body of water: The brothers allegedly hired a 40ft 'Pina Colada' catamaran (pictured) from the Yacht Haven Marina © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The brothers allegedly hired a 40ft 'Pina Colada' catamaran (pictured) from the Yacht Haven Marina The brothers allegedly hired the catamaran from Yacht Haven Marina, north-east of Phuket, and were due to return it on the 21st of that month.

The pair are alleged to have removed the tracker for the yacht before travelling more than 4,000km to Australia and arriving in Darwin on August 19.

The hire company reported the vessel stolen.

a man smiling for the camera: Van Duren hired the 40-foot 'Pina Colada' catamaran with his brother Shane (pictured), 43, of Canberra, on July 8 in Thailand © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Van Duren hired the 40-foot 'Pina Colada' catamaran with his brother Shane (pictured), 43, of Canberra, on July 8 in Thailand Australian Federal Police and NT Police searched the yacht and seized documents when it arrived.

Van Duren was then extradited to Sydney where he was to also face police charges over the mid-flight assault.

However, Commonwealth prosecutors withdrew their charges with Thai authorities having already jailed him.

He was arrested at 12.30 am on Friday when he landed in Darwin by NT Police at the airport.

a close up of a map: Van Duren is alleged to have taken the 40-ft yacht from a marina near Phuket, before making the dangerous voyage to Darwin © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Van Duren is alleged to have taken the 40-ft yacht from a marina near Phuket, before making the dangerous voyage to Darwin

He was charged with aggravated unlawful use of a vessel and unlawful possession of property and was due to face a Darwin court on Friday, where he was refused bail. 

NT News reported that Judge Michael Carey said Van Duren was 'clearly on the run from Thailand'.

He said: 'I have little doubt that if I grant him bail he'll disappear again.'  

Van Duren is due back in court on October 12 and his lawyer said he 'will at this stage contest the charges'. 

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