Two charged for importing firearm hidden in computer
A 21-year-old Banksia Grove woman and a 21-year-old Greenwood man are scheduled to appear before Perth Magistrates Court today (24 September 2013) charged with importing an illegal firearm into Australia.
Both persons were arrested by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) following the seizure of a .22 Caliber Sig Saur pistol and magazine by Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACPBS) officers on 16 August at the Melbourne Gateway Facility.
Investigations began when ACPBS officers at the Melbourne international mail facility examined a package declared to contain a hard drive posted from the USA. They found the pistol and magazine hidden inside a package resembling a computer hard drive.
ACBPS officers referred the matter to the AFP for further investigation.
The AFP conducted a controlled delivery on 2 September 2013 and arrested two people in Banksia Grove, Western Australia.
ACBPS National Manager Cargo Operations Jagtej Singh said the detection highlighted the importance of inter-agency law enforcement cooperation.
“The public should rightly be concerned that such items are being posted through international mail. Our officers, together with the AFP, are committed to stopping this dangerous trade and use a range of detection techniques and intelligence sharing arrangements to disrupt it,” Mr Singh said.
Manager Crime Operations Jennifer Hurst said the seizure of this firearm is an example of law enforcement agencies working together to combat illegal importations.
“The importation of firearms into Australia is a serious crime and the community should be aware that the AFP and Customs and Border Protection will continue to work together to stop illegal importations, including those through the postal system,” Commander Hurst said.
Both were charged with importing a Tier 2 good (firearm) and magazine, contrary to section 233BAB (5) of the Customs Act 1901 into Australia.
Maximum penalty for this offence is 10 years imprisonment and/or $125,000 fine.
Australian Customs website – http://www.customs.gov.au/site/130924mediarelease_ACBPS_AFP.asp – 24 September 2013