Three men from Sydney arrested after military-style weapons seized in counter-terrorism raids
Affected Countries: australia;
An investigation is underway into how three men managed to get their hands on military-style weapons seized during counter-terrorism raids across Sydney’s south-west.
A 29-year-old man was arrested at a shopping centre car park in Bankstown while allegedly trying to sell three guns, including an MK5 rifle, a Berretta 9mm pistol and a 9mm mini-Glock pistol.
Two other men were also detained — a 26-year-old and a 30-year-old — one at a home at East Hills, the other was located by officers in Padstow.
All three are expected to be charged with up to 100 firearm offences.
Eleven other firearms — including semi-automatic rifles, pistols, and a pump-action shotgun — were seized as well as 5,000 rounds of ammunition following a secret operation in January.
They were seized from properties at Bankstown, Chester Hill, East Hills and Yagoona.
Investigators believe the guns, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, were being sold on the black market to be used by criminal organisations in Sydney.
Assistant Commissioner Scott Lee from Australian Federal Police said the 29-year-old man had allegedly been planning to finance a terror organisation.
“We have captured evidence that relates to a potential intent to support the activities of Islamic State overseas,” he said.
“There is no evidence of any terrorist attack planning and so certainly for the community there is no ongoing threat of terrorist incidents from this operation.”
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Walton said it was unclear where the weapons had come from and that remained the focus of the ongoing investigation.
“These are older-style weapons so have they been retained post-Port Arthur buyback or have they been imported into the country in some manner — that’s unclear,” he said.
The firearms are currently undergoing ballistic and forensic examination as detectives endeavour to find out whether they were imported overseas or sourced locally.
The men are being questioned at Bankstown Police Station and it is expected they will face Parramatta Bail Court tomorrow.
Source: ABC News