Police target illicit firearms in bikie swoop across Melbourne and Ballarat

Detectives have issued a number of Firearm Prohibition Orders (FPOs) as part of an operation to disrupt and deter illicit firearms use across Ballarat and Melbourne’s west and north west this morning.

The operation targeting NOMADS outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG) members and their associates involved detectives from Ballarat’s Incident and Response Unit, Western Region Crime Squad, North West Metro Crime Squad, the Illicit Firearms Unit and Echo Taskforce.

Police carried out searches at nine addresses in total on Thursday 14 October, including four in the Ballarat suburbs of Wendouree, Alfredton and Mount Clear; and five in the Melbourne suburbs of Sunbury, Newport, Melton West, St Albans and the NOMADS City Chapter clubhouse at Laverton North.

Nine FPOs were issued to individuals who are known members of the NOMADS OMCG including:

• A 36-year-old man from Sunbury

• A 35-year-old man from Newport

• A 44-year-old man from Melton West

• A 39-year-old man from Sunbury

• A 33-year-old man from St Albans. Officers seized an extendable baton during a search of this property, but no arrests were made and enquiries are ongoing.

• A 30-year-old man from Wendouree

• A 38-year-old man from Alfredton

• A 26-year-old man from Alfredton

• A 23-year-old man from Mount Clear

Firearm Prohibition Orders are a legislative provision that give police specific powers to proactively respond to, disrupt and prevent firearm-related crime in Victoria and keep the community safe.

Once issued, an FPO remains in effect for 10 years for adults and five years for children between 14 and 17 years of age.

During that time, the individual is prohibited from acquiring, possessing, carrying or using any firearm related item such as ammunition.

The charges relating to FPOs include up to 10 years imprisonment for acquiring, possessing, carrying or using a firearm or firearm related item.

Since they were introduced in May 2018, Victoria Police has issued more than 1100 FPOs across the state.

Quotes attributed to Acting Inspector Shaun Bingham, Ballarat Region Investigation and Response Manager:

“Firearm Prohibition Orders serve as a powerful tool to hold certain individuals accountable when it comes to the use of illicit firearms.”

“The safety of the Ballarat community is our number one priority and we make no apologies for deliberately making it difficult for these people to access, use and store firearms.”

“This is also about creating greater consequences for these individuals should they come into possession of a firearm – if they want to roll the dice they could be looking at up to 10 years in prison.”

“Make no mistake – police will continue to do everything within their power to make sure firearms stay out of the wrong hands.”

Quotes attributed to Senior Sergeant Alan Rumble from Echo Taskforce:

“Outlaw motorcycle gangs remain a significant national problem, not just in our bigger cities but also in regional towns like Ballarat.”

“We know these individuals have traditionally been involved in violent crimes such as shootings, assaults, arson, drug trafficking, extortion and intimidation.”

“Yesterday’s enforcement sends a clear message to chapter members – you cannot hide and police will use every power they have to prevent you from causing harm to the Ballarat community and beyond.”

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