A 56-year-old Australian citizen has been charged by Australian Border Force (ABF) investigators for the alleged importation of firearm parts.
Investigations began after ABF officers at the Melbourne Gateway Facility located a silencer and other firearm parts in a consignment from the Netherlands in April. A second package addressed to the same man was detected at the Sydney Gateway Facility in May. The consignment contained a semi-automatic handgun frame.
Yesterday, (Wednesday 21 October 2020), ABF investigators executed warrants at premises in Wollstonecraft and Lane Cove, with the assistance of the NSW Police Force.
During the warrants, a number of items were seized including an unregistered firearm, a silencer, a firearm grip, extendable batons and electronic devices.
A 56-year-old man was arrested at Wollstonecraft and taken to Chatswood Police Station
where he was charged with two counts of importing prohibited Tier 2 goods without approval, contrary to section 233BAB(5) of the Customs Act 1901. The maximum penalty if convicted is up to 10 years’ imprisonment and/or fines of up to 555,000.
Detectives from North Shore Police Area Command charged the man with possess unauthorised pistol, possess a barrel without authority of licence/permit, and possess ammunition without holding licence/permit/authority.
He has been refused bail to appear at Manly Local Court today (Thursday 22 October 2020).
ABF Regional Investigations NSW Superintendent Garry Low said targeting illegal firearm imports is a priority for the ABF.
“Every day, ABF officers at Australia’s airports, seaports and mail centres are on the lookout for the illegal importation of firearms and other prohibited weapons,” Superintendent Low said.
“In the wrong hands, these weapons could be deadly, so when we detect them at the border we will seize them and where appropriate prosecute those trying to bring them in illegally.”