In a drive to weed out those who import or facilitate the importation of firearms, firearm parts or ammunition for supply to criminal groups, Australian Border Force (ABF) executed dozens of warrants around the country. A large number of firearms and modified suppressors were seized as a result of this operation.
ABF investigators, on the basis of tip off from US law enforcement agencies, zeroed down on a large number of Australian customers purchasing ‘solvent trap’ cleaning kits from a US-based website. The interesting point about the so-called solvent trap is that, these items can easily be converted into sound suppressors. Once converted, this can get you good money in the illegal market. On legal terms these items are prohibited imports when brought into Australia for this purpose.
Coordinating with officers of the state and territory police, Australian Border Force executed 25 Customs Act search warrants nationally, with a further 17 properties targeted in residential visits. A total number of 81 firearms and 43 suppressors were seized. Along with this, officers also located and seized large quantities of ammunition, 37kg of gunpowder, a number of firearms parts and other prohibited weapons. Though imports were done at different times through different locations, involvement of an Adelaide customs broker is not established.
This country wide operation was a clear message to those who supply firearms to criminals and criminal gangs. Through the operation they were reminded that ABF and it law enforcement partners have the tools and infrastructure to identify and seize these illegal importations and locate those behind them.
At the disposal of the law enforcement agencies is the local and international intelligence sharing, world-class firearms detector dogs and cutting-edge x-ray scanning technology. As a result, ABF is fully equipped to identify and size these items at the boarder arriving in any type of disguise.
At the same time ABF want to make sure that recreational shooters are not troubled. Recreational shooters are advised to go through Australia’s strict firearms regulations before buying parts and accessories online.
Trident Taskforce arrest seven men belonging to international drug mafia
Trident Task force, investigating into operations of an international criminal syndicate arrested seven men in Melbourne. This was in connection with their role in attempting to import approximately 92 kilograms of cocaine into the city. According to conservative estimates, the drugs have an estimated street value of $30 million. Around $580,000 cash was also seized as part of the operation.
This is a major step in controlling activities of international criminal syndicates involved in the importation of illicit drugs into Victoria.
The Trident Taskforce includes members from the Australian Federal Police, Victoria Police, Australian Border Force, AUSTRAC, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, and the Australian Taxation Office.
Police got information that a cargo vessel arriving at the Port of Melbourne was carrying drugs. On the basis of the tip off, the sea cargo container was taken to the Melbourne container examination facility for inspection.
During inspection three suspicious black duffle bags were found concealed in a container from Panama. It was also found that inside each of the bags were 26 blocks. On chemical analysis substance concealed within the blocks turned out to be cocaine.
Following this, tactical officers from the Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police along with Taskforce Trident investigators conducted searches across Melbourne. Police executed search warrants in Docklands, Parkville, South Yarra, Essendon, Caroline Springs, Mernda, Sunshine West, and Carlton. No information was given out by Trident investigators on the involvement of any Sydney customs brokers in this case.
This resulted in the arrest of a 29-year-old Canadian man; a 33-year-old British man; a 22-year-old Sunshine West man; a 21-year-old Sunshine West man; a 26-year-old St Albans man; a 29-year-old Canadian man; and a 25-year-old Sunshine North man.
Arrested men were charged under different provisions of the law. One was offences related to the importation and attempted possession of commercial quantities of a border-controlled drugs. The second one was related to money laundering offences. The charge on the 29-year-old Canadian man also included dealing in money or property worth $100,000 or more, intended for criminal activities.