Execution of Customs warrant at a 37-year-old man’s address in Reservoir led to the discovery of various weapons, illegal drugs, clandestine laboratory equipment, ammunition and cash. The warrant was executed by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) officers. The team was assisted by Victoria Police.
ACBPS officers at the Melbourne Gateway Facility intercepted 10 cargo consignments. These consignment came from different countries like the United States, Italy, Hong Kong and China. Search in the consignments yielded illegal items. Seized items were identified as Tier 2 Goods controlled under the Customs Regulations 1926. Items seized were prohibited weapons, including BB Rifles, Airguns and firearms related items. No Sydney customs broker is associated with these imports.
Under the prohibited weapons were items such as 24 prohibited bladed weapons, 13 BB guns, Knuckledusters, Firearm parts and Fireworks and machinery used to manufacture firearms. In the category of drugs Australian Customs and Border Protection Service officers recovered approximately 7 grams of Marijuana and approximately 377 grams of Heroin. They also seized 2 prohibited lasers, 9 handcuffs and 1 teaser. Investigating team also recovered approximately $100,000 in cash.
The man arrested in this connection was charged with the following offences, possessing proceeds of crime, trafficking a commercial quantity of heroin, possessing and using heroin, possessing and using cannabis, possessing a prohibited and controlled weapon, possessing an explosive substance and possessing fireworks while unlicensed. Accused will also face charges from ACBPS under section 233BAB of the Customs Act 1901.
David Nockels, ACPBS National Manager Immigration and Customs Enforcement Branch gave credit to the success of this operation to the intelligence gathered by ACBPS. As a result of the identification by Customs and Border Protection’s Firearms Intelligence Targeting Team, the consignments was marked as high risk. This resulted the issue and subsequent action on the warrant. On the basis of the offences and charges raised, the maximum penalty for importation of weapons is a fine of up to $425,000 and or ten years imprisonment.