Warning to young travels from Australian Border Force(ABF)

Warning to young travels from Australian Border Force(ABF)


Terry Price, ABF Acting Assistant Commissioner, Strategic Border Command advice young travelers to know the rules before going overseas. This is to ensure that purchases school levers do overseas make it home without much trouble.

It is an Aussie tradition to travel overseas on the completion of school. It is considered an experience of a lifetime. While encouraging young travellers to have fun, The Australian Border Force (ABF) advice them to be aware of their responsibilities. ABF reminds those heading overseas to be aware of what they can and cannot bring back to Australia on their return.

Australia has firm laws about what one can bring into the country from overseas. Items that may be legal to purchase in other countries can be illegal in Australia. For example items like laser pointers, gel ball guns, blowpipes, knuckle dusters, nunchakus and throwing knives are not allowed without proper procedures.For a quick advice on what you can bring in as a traveler  you can contact a customs broker available in any place like Sydney and Brisbane.

ABF advice young travelers that if you are not sure whether or not to declare your goods, the best thing to do is declare them. Penalties for false or misleading information can be severe and may result in your goods being taken away from you.

Another serious advice from ABF is never to carry goods for other people. Especially if you do not personally know the person for whom you are carrying the packet. Carrying goods from an unknown can get you into lot of trouble.
If you do not know exactly what you are carrying, consequence can be equally serious. If you are carrying goods that are prohibited or restricted, you will be held responsible.

The easiest way for travellers to check what can and cannot be brought back into Australia, is by checking the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s webpage. This page clearly gives what one can and cannot be brought into Australia. “Can I Bring It Back” page is available online at the site https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Ente/Brin/Can-I-bring-it-back. Here one can get the most common prohibited or restricted items travellers attempt to bring back from overseas. You can also get details of how to declare items, guidance on travelling with medication and all issues related to duty and GST.

ACBPS intercepts cargo consignments – seize weapons, drugs and cash

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.

Illegal firearms from dark web Four Australians arrested


Four Australians were charged and arrested on the basis of investigation focused on the trade of illegal firearms via the ‘dark web’.  A US-based seller was using the “dark web”, an online alias, to do the transactions. The seller enjoys a worldwide client base, including Australian-based buyers.

The arrest was the result of a six-month joint operation between the United States Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Australian Federal Police (AFP), and Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS).

The HSI initiated investigation on the basis of information passed on ACBPS. This led to the identification of a 33-year-old man in Montana for the operation of the online alias account. As a follow up HSI agents commenced a covert operation using the online alias account. On the basis of this operation conducted worldwide, they identified suspected Australian-based users. These people were attempting to illegally purchase firearms from illegal online sites.

On the basis of information received, controlled delivery of six parcels to addresses in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT were done. This resulted in the execution of 15 search warrants. As a result, four illegal firearms, ammunition, two clandestine laboratories, precursor chemicals, methamphetamines, pseudoephedrine, steroids, computer equipment and mobile telephones were seized. Since these transactions are illegal and online, involvement of any Sydney custom broker is ruled out.

The operation which was conducted on a global level resulted in 17 arrests from United Kingdom, Europe and North America. These arrests resulted in the further seizures of firearms, ballistic armor, illicit drugs and USD$80,000 in bitcoins.

Kevin Kelly, HSI acting special agent in charge of HSI Newark said HSI will utilize its manpower and resources to secure land borders as well as virtual borders from  illegal activities of sale and purchase of firearms, drugs, and other illicit items. He also hoped the joint international law enforcement operation will serve as a warning to those who make profit by using underground websites.

Eighteen arrested in 12 month Polaris operation


Eighteen men, involved in an organised crime syndicate were arrested and charged with more than 80 offences. This was the end result of a  12 month long Polaris waterfront task force operation.

Investigation was initiated on the alleged criminal activities of an individual who worked on the Port Botany waterfront. This was further widened to a number of associated persons involved in drug trafficking, weapon possession and supply and drug cultivation.

On the basis of the investigation 20 search warrants have been executed at locations across Sydney and the NSW south coast. This culminated in the arrests of 18 persons who will face a total of 81 charges. Investigation also included three search warrants at the homes of three suspects and received evidence in relation to drug trafficking and importation.

According to Nick Bingham, Polaris Taskforce commander Detective Superintendent the operation’s outcomes brings out  the success of the Polaris waterfront taskforce. This also shows effective the cooperation between agencies and its ability to control organised crime syndicates within Australia and overseas.

Detective Superintendent Bingham said that from one small piece of information this investigation expanded to a wider area. The investigation team was able to make dozens of charges and seize weapons, drugs and cash. He appealed to the community, especially those working at waterfront facilities.

As result of this exercise 18 persons were charged with 81 offences, seized  73kg of prohibited drugs, 31kg of precursors and 150 cannabis plants. It also resulted in the aeizure of 14,600 cigarettes, seizure of $893,139 cash believed to be the proceeds of crime and seizure of 22 firearms and in excess of 3000 rounds of ammunition. Polaris Taskforce has not disclosed name of any Sydney customs broker in this case.

The men arrested were charged with offences relate to the supply, possession and manufacture of prohibited drugs and precursors. This included possession of instructions and apparatus for the manufacture of prohibited drugs, possession of unregistered or prohibited firearms supply of firearm, possessions of ammunition without authority, possession of stolen goods, possession of property from proceeds of crime, possession of explosives, directing activities of a criminal group, participate in a criminal group and contribute to criminal activity, recklessly deal with proceeds of crime and hindering an investigation.

Eight men charged – drugs and fire arms seized in joint action of police forces

Members of an organised crime syndicate importing drug precursor into Australia and exporting firearms into Papua New Guinea were charged for these offences.  This was the result of a joint investigation of The Australian Federal Police (AFP), Queensland Police Service (QPS) and Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS). It is also alleged that the syndicate has links to two large-scale cannabis plantations in Northern Queensland.

Ten liters of Phenyl-2-Propanone (P2P) has been seized in the operation and eight people have been charged with various offences. P2P is a precursor used to manufacture drugs such as methamphetamine or ‘ice’. The P2P seized can be used to produce approximately 9.8 kilograms of methamphetamine. The street value of the same is estimated at $2.5 million dollars.

Following the discovery of a large cannabis plantation in a remote location near Herberton in Northern Queensland, AFP and QPS arrested four people. Execution of search warrants resulted in the seizure of approximately 920 plants. On the basis of these findings two men aged 46 and 45 and two women  aged 55 and 25 were charged with state drug offences. The AFP with assistance from QPS and ACBPS also seized seven liters of P2P imported to Australia from Papua New Guinea.

AFP along with QPS and ACBPS executed 10 search warrants in Cairns, Herberton, Bamaga and Badu Island (Torres Strait) and recovered three liters of P2P and charged five men as follows. The 45-year-old Herberton man was charged for importing marketable quantity of border controlled precursor. A 39-year-old Bamaga man was charged with importing marketable quantity border controlled precursor.

A 32-year-old Badu Island man was charged with import of a commercial quantity of a border controlled precursor. A 38-year-old Badu Island man was charged with one count of pre-trafficking a commercial quantity of controlled precursors. A 29-year-old Cairns man was charged with aiding and abetting pre-trafficking a commercial quantity of controlled precursors. The offences charged on the accused can attract a maximum fine of up to $850,000 and or 25 years in prison.

Drugs and weapons seized, two men charged

Drugs and weapons seized, two men charged

Search warrants were executed at Varsity Lakes and Ormeau by Taskforce Maxima and officers from the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS). Following this, two men have been charged with weapons and drug offences.

ACBPS officers at Brisbane International Mail and the Sydney Gateway Facility initiated investigations after they identified parcels containing weapon parts and other illicit materials. These packets were addressed to Varsity Lakes and Ormeau respectively. Search warrants issued by between the ACBPS and Taskforce Maxima were subsequently executed at the two addresses.

As a result of the search conducted, officers located approximately 500 steroid tablets, a quantity of steroid liquid and a Taser device at the Varsity Lakes address. At the Ormeau address officers recovered  a cache of weapons and child exploitation material.

At the Ormeau address, the search team recovered weapons including a M4 A1 Carbine, Heckler & Kosh G36, a G5K, a Walther P99, a PKA semi automatic pistol and a replica Desert Eagle pistol. The task force has not disclosed identity of any Brisbane customs broker in this connection.

For items recovered from Ormeau, a 42-year-old man has been charged with three counts of importation of a tier two prohibited import under the Customs Act 1901. Also two counts of unlawful possession of weapons (Category H & R). In addition one count each of unlawful possession of explosives and possession of child exploitation material.

For items recovered from Ormeau a 33-old-male from Varsity lakes has been charged with one count each of unlawful possession of a weapon (Taser) and possession of dangerous drugs (steroids).

Brendan Smith, Detective Inspector of Taskforce Maxima is of the opinion that the arrests were another great example of Queensland Police working in conjunction with the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. He said the law enforcement agencies will do its best to keep weapons and drugs off Queensland streets.

Operation Polaris seize drugs and cash, two men arrested

Operation Polaris conducted a series of investigations into serious and organised crime on the Sydney waterfront. As a result, police have arrested two men and seized a large amount of drugs and cash.

Operation Polaris is an initiative from the government to curtail crime. The initiative targets serious and organised criminal activity at New South Wales sea cargo terminals. Team of Polaris is a joint waterfront operation with members from the NSW Police Force, Australian Federal Police, Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and Australian Crime Commission.

Detectives from Operation Polaris started investigation an year ago in this case. This was based on information on a man working on the Sydney waterfront and was allegedly involved in the supply of illicit drugs. In March 2014, officers from Operation Polaris executed search warrants at five properties and seized evidentiary items from four of them.

Soon after officers located and seized a small amount of methylamphetamine, steroids, electronic equipment and identification documents. This was from a unit on Kimberley Street in Vaucluse.

This was followed by search at a unit on St Marks Road, Randwick. From here the  police seized numerous re-sealable bags containing powder (suspected of being an illicit drug), prescription drugs, a large amount of steroids, cash, electronic equipment and financial documents.

Raid at a property on Sutherland Street in Paddington resulted in a much bigger catch. Officers seized approximately 1kg of MDMA, capable of producing approximately 4,000 tablets with an estimated street value of $200,000. Half a kilo of cocaine with an estimated street value of $400,000 was recovered. The police also seized  a large amount of prescription medication, a large amount of steroids, cash, a hydraulic press and other items believed to have been used in the manufacture of illegal drugs.

The police arrested a 38-year-old waterfront employee at the property in Vaucluse. He was charged with knowingly take part in drug supply and possess prohibited drug. Police also arrested a 37-year-old man from the property in Randwick. He was charged with trafficking marketable quantities of controlled drugs, and dealing in the proceeds of crime worth $100,000 or more.

Joint-agency operation arrest women, seize prohibited weapons

Joint-agency operation arrest women, seize prohibited weapons

NSW Police Force and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) arrested a women with hundreds of prohibited weapons. These include replica pistols, electronic shock devices and tear gas lipsticks.

Fairfield Local Area Command several weeks ago had arrested a man with weapons. This was following  search warrants at St Andrews and Ingleburn. Police say the items are sold to customers at markets in Sydney. Involvement of any Sydney customs broker in this case is not immediately known.

In this search, 67 replica pistols, 325 electronic shock devices, 64 extendable batons, 162 laser pointers, 63 butterfly knives, 281 knuckle dusters, 38 sling shots and 10 boxes of human growth hormone were seized.

The investigation of the case was handed over to the NSW Police Firearms and Organised Crime Squad and the ACBPS for further investigation under Strike Force Kentmer. On the basis of this investigation ACBPS officers detected a major shipment of items at the NSW Container Examination Facility on Friday 6 December 2013.

The investigating team recovered more than 200 replica pistols and air soft pistols, 50 extendable batons, 60 sets of knuckle dusters, more than 70 electronic shock devices disguised as smart phones and flashlights, 200 tear gas lipsticks, an assortment of BB gun ammunition and a number of other items.

In this connection officers from the NSW Police and the ACBPS attended an address at St Andrews and  arrested a 49-year-old woman. She was charged with importing tier two prohibited goods and was refused bail.

The 59-year-old man earlier arrested was charged with unauthorised possession of firearms in aggravated circumstances, supply firearm on ongoing basis, possess unauthorised firearms, possess prohibited weapon and supply of prohibited weapons.

According to Wayne Walpole, Commander of the Firearms and Organised Crime Squad, Detective Acting Superintendent this operation was the proactive work of local police that initiated this investigation, and the close working relationship between the police and Customs that enabled us to resolve this case so quickly.