Additional 26 charges laid after joint agency investigation at Bathurst, NSW

Additional charges have been laid against a man as part of an ongoing joint-agency investigation into the alleged importation of illegal firearm parts in the state’s Central Tablelands earlier this year.

In late June, Australian Border Force (ABF) officers intercepted a consignment from Japan containing a BB gun and pellets – a prohibited import.

A total 10 packages were detected by ABF officers, which had arrived either via air cargo or International mail, from Hong Kong, China, Germany and Japan between June and September.

During this time, the matter was referred to the NSW Police Force (NSWPF) and the Western Region Enforcement Squad (RES) commenced inquiries.

Further packages, which were destined for Australia, were seized in the United States and referred to US Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to conduct inquiries.

In August 2020, NSWPF, ABF and HSI commenced a joint investigation, which also included inquiries into the importation of items associated with the manufacture of illicit drugs.

Just after 6am on Wednesday 23 September 2020, NSWPF officers attached to Western Region Enforcement Squad and investigators from ABF and HSI executed a NSW search warrant and a customs search and seizure warrant at a home at South Bathurst.

The operation was also assisted by Chifley Police District, the Dog Unit, and Western Operations Support Group (OSG).

During the search, officers located and seized a loaded .45 calibre handgun, three Glock handguns, 357 Magnum handgun, firearm parts, gamma butyrolactone liquid (GBL), a ballistic vest, electronic control device, blank cards and holograms allegedly used to create driver licences.

A 36-year-old man was arrested and taken to Bathurst Police Station, where he was charged with firearm offences.

Following further investigation, officers attached to Western RES have yesterday (Tuesday 1 December 2020), laid additional charges:

  • Possess unregistered firearm not prohibited firearm/pistol (x4)
  • Not keep firearm safely not prohibited firearm/pistol
  • Possess ammunition without holding licence/permit/authority
  • Possess or use a prohibited weapon without permit (x6)
  • Acquire firearm part without authority to do so (x15)
  • Intentionally import prohibited tier 2 goods without approval (x11)
  • Possess unregistered firearm prohibited firearm (x5)
  • Goods suspected stolen in/on premises (x2)
  • Obstruct/hinder/intimidate/resist Commonwealth official
  • Have device in possession for purpose of operation/supply
  • Make, possess equipment to make false document
  • Possess false document to obtain financial advantage

The man remains refused bail to appear at Bathurst Local Court on Monday 25 January 2020.

Investigations continue.

/Public Release. View in full here.