The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has charged a 39 year old Newport man with a range of offences related to the alleged acquisition of weapons in Lebanon.
The man was arrested on Sunday (9 September 2018) at Melbourne International Airport after he arrived back from Lebanon, and was charged with seven offences relating to the attempted purchase of firearms and money laundering while overseas, Australian Federal Police say.
The man appeared before Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 10 September 2018.
The AFP investigation into this matter began in December 2017. It will be alleged the man sought to purchase weapons including an AK-47 and semi-automatic handguns in Lebanon.
AFP investigators have been liaising with Lebanese authorities throughout this investigation, with a focus on identifying potential suppliers and traffickers of firearms.
AFP State Manager Tasmania/Victoria, Commander Amanda Kates said the focus of the investigation was the protection of the community.
“The weapons identified during this investigation are the type traditionally sought by organised crime figures, and we had real fears they could have been used to commit or facilitate other crimes,” Commander Kates said.
“While charges have been laid, our investigators will continue working with domestic and international law enforcement partners to identify the full scope of this matter.”
The man has been charged with the following offences:
- Two counts of dealing with money that would become an instrument of crime, with the value of $1,000 or more, contrary to subsection 400.7(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence is five years imprisonment.
- One count of using a telecommunications network with intention to commit a serious offence, contrary to subsection 474.14(2) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence is seven years imprisonment.
- One count of moving physical currency of more than $10,000 out of Australia without a report contrary to subsection 53(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence is two years imprisonment.
- Three counts of committing an indictable offence, contrary to section 30B of the Bail Act 1977 (Victoria).
The man is scheduled to re-appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court on 14 January 2019.