Firearms seized following Joint Task Force Icarus investigation

Joint Task Force Icarus investigators, with the assistance of the Purana Task Force, arrested a 36-year-old man at a Richmond residence this morning as part of an investigation into the alleged illegal importation of parts for a light machine gun.

A search of the property uncovered what police believe to be a replica Sten sub-machine gun, and other parts for a Bren Gun.

Following his arrest, the man accompanied investigators to Yea where a second search warrant was executed resulting in the seizure of eight registered firearms.

The man has been charged with importing a prohibited item and bailed to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 15 March, 2016.

Police also suspended the man’s shooters licence.

There are no indications that this matter is in any way associated to terrorism or other forms of organised crime.

Joint Task Force Icarus Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Newlan said the success of today’s operation was initiated by the excellent work undertaken by Australian Border Force officers in identifying the postal item, containing the gun parts – the package had originated in Canada.

“Just as the Australian Border Force, Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Victoria Police are committed to working as one to reduce the availability of illicit drugs and minimise their subsequent harm to the Victorian community, so too are the three agencies galvanised to prevent further illegal firearms from being introduced to the country,” he said.

“There may be some who believe the importation of firearms into Australia is a relatively minor crime – in fact, it’s anything but, the Customs Act provides for a maximum of 10 years imprisonment for those found guilty.”

AFP Detective Superintendent Matt Warren said the taskforce’s capability to detect and disrupt organised crime continues to grow.

“Law enforcement and border protection agencies will continue to work together to target organised criminal networks who seek to use the international mail and air cargo systems for their criminal activities,” Det. Supt. Warren said.

Purana Task Force’s management has committed to assist with future similar investigations.

Joint Task Force Icarus is comprised of personnel drawn from the AFP, Australian Border Force and Victoria Police.

Law enforcement agencies need community assistance to fight crime, and urge anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or to submit at confidential crime report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.

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