Australia

Hundreds of firearms seized across Australia

Almost 500 firearms have been seized across the country in a major police operation designed to crack down on illicit firearm trafficking.

Special police forces have seized 475 firearms across Australia over the past week in a bid to tackle firearm trafficking.

Operation Athena incorporated all policing jurisdictions including Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force, and the Department of Home Affairs.

Detective Superintendent Peter Brigham from the Victoria Police State Anti-Gangs Division, said the trafficking and use of illicit firearms remains a key law enforcement issue across Australia.

Firearms seized during Operation Athena national week of action.
Firearms seized during Operation Athena national week of action.

"The community should be reassured we are getting results. We're arresting people and charging them with serious offences, and we are continuing to seize illicit firearms from criminals every week," he said.

In Victoria, 91 firearms were seized and 12 people were arrested, with up to 44 charges laid over the week.

Police also served 10 new firearms prohibition orders and conducted a number of searches in relation to existing orders in the state.

"The results from the week of action not just in Victoria but right across the country are testament to the work that's being done by a number of agencies to target those involved with the trafficking and use of illicit firearms and try and prevent further harm to our communities," Det. Sup Brigham said.

In New South Wales, 81 firearms were confiscated, while in South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia, 14 warrants were executed by the ABF, in relation to the recent detection of suppressors at the border.

A small number of additional items were seized including suppressors and unsecured ammunition and firearms.

ABF Commander Graeme Grosse said the results highlighted the excellent working relationship between state, federal and international partners and their efforts to combat the scourge of illegal firearms.

"Our clear message is do not attempt to import firearms, parts or accessories without a proper permit. If you do, we will seize these items and pursue appropriate criminal charges. Under the Customs Act, possible charges include ten years imprisonment, a fine of up to $525,000, or both," Commander Grosse said.

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