The man responsible for torching rival businesses in Melbourne including AA Jumping Castles in Hoppers Crossing has been arrested and charged by The Australian Federal Police in Perth for allegedly forging postage stamps.
James Balcombe is expected to appear in Perth Magistrate’s Court today (Wednesday, 19 August) after AFP investigators arrested him at his Dianella home yesterday (Tuesday, 18 August 2020).
He is also wanted in Melbourne over eight arson and three attempted arson offences.
As well as finding fake stamps, investigators also seized identity documents and credit cards in other people’s names, two unlicensed firearms and two prohibited flick knives.
Video of the arrest in Perth
He has been charged with one count of forged a postage stamp, contrary to section 85G(1) of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth).
He faces a potential 10 years’ imprisonment if convicted of the offence.
Inquiries are ongoing into the weapons and other items seized by police.
AFP Detective Superintendent David Berston said “We will allege this man was forging stamps to create a financial advantage for himself.”
“He was able to entice customers to his business and away from his competitors because the free postage made his products cheaper, creating an unfair playing field.
“We also allege this conduct put his customers at risk of not receiving the goods they purchased in good faith, with Australia Post needing to intercept and hold hundreds of mail items that had counterfeit stamps.
“This crime also siphons money away from Australian taxpayers because Australia Post is owned by the Commonwealth Government.”
Approximately 680 mail items with alleged fake stamps valued at approximately $2300 were detected but it is unknown how many items with forged stamps were sent.
Anyone with information about unlawful activity which threatens the integrity of air facilitated trade or safety and security at Australian airports should ring Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.