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Researcher Jennifer Stone
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
Hundreds of prohibited weapons seized
Woman arrested, hundreds of prohibited weapons seized - joint-agency operation
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 04:30:33 AM
*** Editors note: Footage of the prohibited weapons will be sent to media later today via a ‘Hightail’ link. ***
A woman has been arrested and hundreds of prohibited weapons seized, including replica pistols, electronic shock devices and tear gas lipsticks, following investigations by the NSW Police Force and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS).
It follows the arrest of a man and seizure of numerous other weapons by Fairfield Local Area Command several weeks ago during search warrants at St Andrews and Ingleburn.
During that operation, 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.
Police will allege the items were being sold to customers at markets in Sydney.
The matter was referred on to the NSW Police Firearms and Organised Crime Squad and the ACBPS for further investigation under Strike Force Kentmer.
That led to ACBPS officers detecting a major shipment of items at the NSW Container Examination Facility on Friday 6 December 2013.
The items seized included 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.
About 10am yesterday (Tuesday 10 December 2013), officers from the NSW Police and the ACBPS attended an address at St Andrews and arrested a 49-year-old woman.
She was taken to Macquarie Fields Police Station and charged with importing tier two prohibited goods. The woman was refused bail and scheduled to appear at Campbelltown Local Court today (Wednesday 11 December 2013).
A 59-year-old market stall operator arrested by Fairfield Local Area Command several weeks ago who was charged with unauthorised possession of firearms in aggravated circumstances, supply firearm on ongoing basis, possess unauthorised firearms, possess prohibited weapons, supply of prohibited weapons, and possess prescribed restricted substances also remains before the court.
He remains custody to next appear before Campbelltown Local Court on the 22 January 2014.
Commander of the Firearms and Organised Crime Squad, Detective Acting Superintendent Wayne Walpole, said the results to date were due to good street policing by Fairfield Local Area Command, and close collaboration between the NSW Police Force and the ACBPS.
“It 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,” Det A/Supt Walpole said.
“The Firearms and Organised Crime Squad has had a Customs officer embedded within it for some years now, and this investigation again demonstrates the success of that close working relationship.
“The seizures are significant and have prevented a large number of replica firearms and other dangerous weapons making their way into the community and being used in the commission of crimes.”
ACBPS National Manager Investigations, John Beveridge, said the strong relationship between ACBPS and NSW Police was the key to the stopping these prohibited weapons from reaching the streets.
“Customs and Border Protection regularly exchanges information and intelligence with our state law enforcement partners on the importation of prohibited goods such as weapons,” Mr Beveridge said.
“These seizures should send a strong warning that if you participate in illegal activities you will be caught.”
Police are urging anyone with information about the possession or sale of prohibited weapons to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page:https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/. Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence.