Search of a Truganina commercial business resulted in the seizure of several prohibited goods.
Alleged members of a Melbourne-based criminal syndicate have been charged in connection with attempted firearm imports in an investigation by the AFP and US Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Operation Chandrila began after HSI shared intelligence in June 2023 about suspicious parcels containing firearm parts bound for Australia. The onshore syndicate is accused of trying to import four such consignments from the US into Melbourne over three months.
A Tarneit man, 37, and an Altona North man, 30, were arrested in Melbourne’s west on August 16, 2023, with assistance from AFP Tactical Response Team and Victoria Police. A search of the Altona North residence led to the seizure of fraudulent IDs, methamphetamine, and live 9mm rounds.
A Truganina commercial business search resulted in the seizure of about 3.4kg of Butanediol, 1.2kg of a drug precursor hidden in a gaming machine, and 100g of suspected methamphetamine. Another search at a Brooklyn storage facility led to the discovery of 20-30kg of a drug precursor, ammunition, fraudulent IDs, and electronic devices.
The men faced charges including attempted import of prohibited firearm parts, possession of ammunition, drug-related charges, and falsification of documents. The Tarneit man was also charged with drug trafficking and handling stolen goods.
According to AFP Detective Acting Superintendent James Cheshire, the investigation demonstrated the strength of international law enforcement partnerships in keeping Australia safe from illegal firearm imports and associated criminal activities.