Police Bust Gun Smugglers Hiding Weapons In Toy Motorbike
Three men have been caught allegedly trying to smuggle guns into Australia by hiding them inside a toy motorbike, police claim.
The Australian Federal Police and Border Force announced three men had been arrested and charged over the alleged smuggling operation, detected in Melbourne.
The investigation was sparked after ABF officers in Melbourne looked into a postal shipment containing a child's toy motorcycle.
"X-ray analysis identified anomalies in the consignment and further examination by ABF officers revealed multiple firearm parts had been hot-glued to the outside of the motorcycle," the AFP said in a statement.
"Following further investigation with the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the ABF identified another two packages that were found to contain firearms parts in a similar concealment."
Police carried out searches at properties in Brunswick and Southbank last week, and reported seizing 60 gun receivers, 26 magazines of 30-bullets, 24 drum magazines capable of holding 50 bullets, 16 handgun frames, and other assorted gun parts.
AFP Superintendent Jayne Crossling called the operation -- which saw men aged 25, 26 and 33 apprehended -- an "exceptional outcome".
"More than 60 firearms have been potentially removed from the streets and not made it into hands for further illegal wrongdoing," she said at a press conference on Tuesday.
ABF regional commander Craig Palmer praised the work of authorities monitoring Australia's borders.
"This result, like many others before it, demonstrate that despite the enhanced concealment technology and techniques being applied, it won't avoid ABF detection and it won't avoid the keen eye of officers manning our x-ray machines at the border," he said.
The men have been charged with offences including possessing a traffickable quantity of unregistered firearms, trafficking prohibited firearms or firearm parts into Australia, intentionally importing prohibited firearm parts, and cross-border offence of disposal or acquisition of a firearm or firearm.