Australian cocaine syndicate 'mastermind' arrested in Philippines

One of Australia's most wanted fugitives, accused of being involved in a multi-million dollar drug syndicate, has been arrested in the Philippines following a two-year manhunt.

The Australian Federal Police have been searching for 44-year-old Markis Scott Turner since September 2015 after he failed to appear for his trial in the Queensland Supreme Court.

Prosecutors have previously claimed the Mackay businessman was the mastermind behind the scheme to smuggle more than 71 kilograms of cocaine from South America to Australia.

in 2016, three Colombian men were jailed for their role in the plan.

AFP Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan said steps would be taken to extradite Turner to Australia.

Local news organisations have reported that Turner was arrested by the Philippines National Bureau of Investigation and was living in Davao City under the name Filip Novak.

In 2016 the Brisbane Supreme Court heard from Turner's mother that she believed her son had taken his own life.

An arrest warrant was issued for Turner in 2015, and $395,000 used to secure his bail was forfeited to the court.