Almost 100 charges after investigation into illegal firearms and fireworks trafficking

Arson and Explosives Squad detectives yesterday charged a man with almost 100 charges as part of an investigation into the trafficking of firearms and illegal fireworks.

The operation also involved detectives from the Illicit Firearms Squad, Echo Taskforce, Vehicle Crime Squad, North West Metro Crime Squad and AFP National Anti-Gangs Squad.

Police carried out searches at three properties on Wednesday 18 May, including two residential addresses in Craigieburn and a business premises in Campbellfield.

They subsequently seized fireworks, firearms parts and a stolen trailer.

A 38-year-old Craigieburn man was charged with 95 offences, including 37 counts of possess explosive substance, possess traffickable quantity firearms, possess unregistered handgun, possess unregistered firearm, possess prohibited weapon and deal with property suspected proceeds of crime.

He was remanded to face Melbourne Magistrates’ Court today.

The man was previously charged on 14 February with five charges, including possess explosives and sell explosives.

Arson and Explosives Squad detectives searched five properties and seized 350 kilograms of commercial grade fireworks.

Anyone with information about illegal fireworks or illicit firearms is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at Link

Quotes attributable to Detective Inspector Steve Soden, Arson and Explosives Squad:

“Today’s result highlights the nature of this criminal offending and the range of illicit goods it can encompass – spanning the trafficking of illegal fireworks, right through to firearms.

“It has been a huge amount of work by the Arson and Explosives Squad – these seizures have prevented a great amount of possible harm to the community.

“Firearms are used in the most violent of offending, and commercial fireworks are extremely dangerous in untrained hands as they are essentially explosives.

“This aptly demonstrates that Victoria Police will continue to target offenders who pose a risk to the community.

“The investigation doesn’t just stop after one result and you shouldn’t expect to go under the radar. We can and will target you.”

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