Man arrested during ongoing joint-agency Bathurst operation
A joint operation between the Australian Border Force, US Homeland Security and police has resulted in the arrest of an alleged illegal firearm importer.
NSW Fire and Rescue and NSW Ambulance are also on the scene at a home on Violet Street, South Bathurst.
A 36-year-old male resident has been arrested and is expected to face charges related to the alleged importation of firearm parts and drug manufacturing equipment.
NSW Police told Deborah Knight in a statement specialist officers from the Rescue and Bomb Disposal Unit and the Drug and Firearms Squad’s Chemical Operations Unit are in attendance, after a “suspicious substance” was found inside the home.
Nine News cameraman Murray McCloskey is on the scene, and described the situation as “fluid” and unlikely to conclude imminently.
“There seems to be a bit of activity now around a granny flat at the back of a house in Prospect Street.
“They’re now re-entering the building as I speak … apparently that’s the centre of the operation.
“There seems to be some concern about what’s in there.”
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Detective Acting Inspector Rob Bevern told Deborah Knight the Chemical Operations Unit have cleared a suspicious liquid that was found in a granny flat at the home.
“We needed to call on the services of the Rescue and Bomb Disposal Unit and Chemical Operations Unit to make sure it was safe.”
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Full statement from NSW Police
“A man has been arrested as part of a joint-agency investigation into the alleged importation of illegal firearm parts and drug manufacturing equipment in NSW’s Central Tablelands.
“Last month, the New South Wales Police Force (NSWPF), Australian Border Force (ABF) and United States Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) commenced an investigation after receiving information in relation to the alleged importation of firearm parts and drug manufacturing equipment into Australia from the US, Hong Kong, China, Germany and Japan.
“Following extensive investigations, NSWPF officers from Western Region Enforcement Squad and investigators from ABF and HSI executed a NSW search warrant and a customs search and seizure warrant at a home at South Bathurst just after 6am today (Wednesday 23 September 2020).
“The operation is also being assisted Chifley Police District, the Dog Unit, and Western Region Operations Support Group.
“After investigators uncovered a suspicious substance inside the home, assistance was requested from Fire and Rescue NSW’s HAZMAT to render the area safe.
“Specialist officers from the Rescue and Bomb Disposal Unit and the Drug and Firearms Squad’s Chemical Operations Unit are in attendance.
“The 36-year-old male resident was served with Firearms and Weapons Prohibition Orders before being arrested and taken to Bathurst Police Station, where he is expected to be charged.
“The operation is ongoing and further information will be provided when it becomes available.”
Image: NSW Police