The NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) has seized 14 illegal firearms and arrested three men over their alleged involvement in the supply of firearms in Sydney’s south-west.
Earlier this year, members of the NSW JCTT – comprising the Australian Federal Police (AFP), NSW Police Force (NSWPF), the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, and the NSW Crime Commission – received information relating to a group with possible access to illegal firearms and members with suspected extremist ideology.
Operation Bouwel was subsequently commenced to investigate the group’s involvement in the acquirement and supply of firearms and explosives.
During the course of the investigation, the JCTT seized 11 firearms, including four SKS rifles (two of which were semi-automatic), a Taurus 9mm pistol .45 calibre self-loading pistol, a .45 calibre handgun, a semi-automatic .22 calibre rifle with silencer, a semi-automatic M1 carbine, and a pump-action shotgun.
Investigators also seized two banana magazines and more than 500 rounds of ammunition (various calibres).
Following extensive inquiries, Operation Bouwel investigators, with the assistance of the Tactical Operations Unit, the Public Order and Riot Squad and South West Metropolitan Operations Support Group, executed five search warrants and conducted three Firearms Prohibition Order (FPO) searches across south west Sydney from 9.30am today (Friday 19 June 2020).
Three men – aged 26, 29, and 30 – were arrested and taken to Bankstown Police Station, where they are in the process of being charged.
During the arrest of the 29-year-old man, police seized a further three firearms – an MK5 rifle, a Berretta 9mm pistol, and a 9mm mini-Glock pistol.
All of the firearms will undergo extensive forensic and ballistic examination.
Charge details and bail/court information will be provided when it comes to hand.
Anyone with information about extremist activity or possible threats to the community should come forward, no matter how small or insignificant you may think the information may be. The National Security Hotline is 1800 123 400.
Further, information relating to any criminal activity in the community can be reported to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.