ABF officers at Sydney International Airport searched a man returning from the United States. Numerous weapons and firearms parts, including a trigger assembly, magazines and barrel were found from his bag. The 48-year-old man has been charged with a number of firearms offences. This was the result of a successful joint operation between Australian Border Force (ABF) and New South Wales Police Force (NSWPF).
On further checking details of three international air cargo consignments addressed to the man containing more firearm parts was located. Search was conducted by ABF Investigators and Firearms Squad officers at properties in Nyngan and Dubbo. This resulted in the seizure of firearms, other weapons and ammunition. No information on the engagement of any Sydney based customs brokers was available from the arrested man.
ABF Investigators arrested the man and charged him with four offences under section 233BAB of the Customs Act 1901. The man and his partner were also later charged by NSW Police for possessing an unregistered firearm, possessing a prohibited firearm and improper storage of firearms and ammunition.
According to Clint Sims, Commander Immigration and Customs Enforcement Branch, the operation is a great example of the effectiveness of two law enforcing agencies working together to control illegal movement of firearms.
The agencies work very closely with a number of federal, state and territory agencies to curb illegal import of firearms to Australia. These combined efforts target firearms before they reach the border, at the border and after they cross the border. This effectively results in strategic targeting and increased interception of attempted illegal imports.
Smuggling weapons through international mail, through airports, or any other border stream is effectively controlled through sharing of information, manpower and other useful resources. These joint efforts also result in booking smugglers under different provisions of law.
Illegal importation of firearms is a serious threat to the society at large. One gun in the wrong hands can cause serious harm. It is unfortunate that some innocent bystander may be finally paying the price of illegal guns on the streets.
Two-year international multi-agency action size one tonne of cocaine in Sydney
An two year international multi-agency operation bear fruit with the seizure of 500 kilograms of cocaine in New South Wales (NSW). Another consignment of 600 kilograms of cocaine destined for Australia was sized in Tahiti. Street value of this catch is estimated at $360 million.
Fifteen men in the age group 29 to 63 years been charged with serious drug importation offences. These men are associated with the Australian criminal syndicate responsible for this attempted importation.
Operation Okesi was commenced to investigate suspected drug trafficking by commercial fisherman in Sydney. The team comprised of detectives from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and NSW Police Force (NSWPF) State Crime Command’s Drug Squad.
The team was assisted by tactical, marine, aviation and technical officers from both organisations, and the Australian Border Force (ABF). They worked jointly with law enforcement agencies in Fiji and Tahiti to identify people behind conspiracies to import illicit drugs into Australia from these places.
Following these three men were arrested and approximately 500 kilograms of cocaine was seized at Parsley Bay. Search warrants were executed across Sydney, and a further four men arrested. In addition, four men have been arrested in the Sydney suburbs of Zetland, Double Bay, Kingsford, and Greenacre. Authorities have not commented on the involvement of any customs broker from Sydney in these importations.
These men were charged with conspiracy to import a commercial quantity of border-controlled drugs. As per law the maximum penalty for conspiracy to import a commercial quantity of border-controlled drugs is life imprisonment.
Chris Sheehan AFP Acting Assistant Commissioner, National Manager Organised Crime and Cyber, said the operation ended with the successful culmination of a complex investigation which crossed domestic and international borders. The attributed the success to the tenacity and dedication of all partners.
As the Australian law enforcement agencies are improving capabilities to detect drugs in sea and air cargo, the smugglers also evolve and employ sophisticated efforts to breach the Australian border. By working closely with international partners, Australia’s law enforcement agencies are coping up with increasingly sophisticated methodologies use by smugglers.