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Police find huge stash of firearms, four tonnes of ammo

UPDATE: QUEENSLAND police have been stunned by the size of a cache of weapons and ammunition they seized this week.

More than 328 high-powered military grade weapons were uncovered and seized following an extensive search of an 800ha property at Monto in Central Queensland.

During the search, police uncovered more than 4.2 tonnes of ammunition stored at various locations around the property.

It is the largest weapons seizure uncovered in Queensland and it included more than 50 Glocks and fully automatic military weapons used by SAS soldiers.

Detectives from the Drug and Serious Crime Firearms Investigation team along with detectives from the Central Region raided the property in Moonford, via Monto, earlier this week.

Superintendent Jon Wacker said today police were amazed at the staggering size of the haul.

"This is certainly the largest haul of firearms, ammunition and weapons we have uncovered," he said.

"While some of the weapons were determined to be registered, a significant proportion of the guns were illegal, modified or converted in some way.

"This is a very significant result for us."

Some of the 328 high-powered weapons seized near a property at Monto in central Queensland. More than four tonnes of ammunition was seized in Queensland's largest ever weapons seizure.
Some of the 328 high-powered weapons seized near a property at Monto in central Queensland. More than four tonnes of ammunition was seized in Queensland's largest ever weapons seizure. Adam Davies

 

Superintendent Wacker said it was too early in the investigation to determine whether the three men charged had any association with criminal motorcycle gangs or any other organisation.

He said the three men, a father and his two sons aged 69, 46 and 42, had lived in the area their entire lives.

"We are currently still at the property conducting investigations," he said.

"We still have not determined why they had such a large amount of weapons and ammunition in their procession or how they obtained them.

"The weapons were transported to Brisbane on Wednesday under police escort and the ballistics team is still in the process of cataloguing the firearms.

"In total we believe the entire seizure could be worth more than $2 million."

Superintendent Wacker said the investigation was part of a larger federal investigation, but said it was too early to say whether any of the weapons had been used in any crimes throughout Australia.

"The search definitely took a number of days," he said.

"We will conduct ballistic tests on all the weapons to see if they match any outstanding crimes."

"Officers from the Australian Crime Commission, Australian Federal Police, Customs and Border Protection and State Emergency Response Team were involved in the search and investigation as part of operation Lima Value."

Superintendent Wacker said he would not divulge the details of how police were alerted to the stockpile or whether the three people allegedly involved were part of a larger organisation.

He said he expected more charges to be laid before the men appeared in court.

The three men, who were released on bail, will appear in the Biloela Magistrates Court on December 18.

Wide Bay Burnett District Acting Inspector Bruce McNab (left) and Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker of the Drug and Serious Crime Group talk about the weapons and ammunition seizures at Monto. Picture: Adam Davies
Wide Bay Burnett District Acting Inspector Bruce McNab (left) and Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker of the Drug and Serious Crime Group talk about the weapons and ammunition seizures at Monto. Picture: Adam Davies

 

EARLIER: POLICE have uncovered one of the largest holdings of illegal firearms, military style weapons and ammunition in Queensland following an extended search of a property in Monto.

Detectives from the Drug and Serious Crime Group's firearms investigation team and detectives from the Central region raided a property in Moonford, near Monto, south of Gladstone and Biloela and west of Bundaberg, on Monday and located a significant amount of firearms and ammunition.

Police allegedly located 328 weapons within the residence including fully automatic rifles, semi automatic rifles and handguns as well as more than four tonnes of ammunition.

Representatives and investigators from the Australian Federal Police and QPS Operations Support Command, Stock and Rural Crime Investigation Squad and Wide Bay Burnett policing district provided assistance in searching the property and identifying and categorising the seized weapons and firearms.

"This is certainly one of the largest hauls of firearms, ammunition and weapons we have uncovered," Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker said.

"While some of the weapons were determined to be registered, a significant proportion of the guns were illegal, modified or converted in some way."

Police uncovered one of the largest holdings of illegal firearms, military style weapons, and ammunition in Queensland following an extended search of a property in Monto.
Police uncovered one of the largest holdings of illegal firearms, military style weapons, and ammunition in Queensland following an extended search of a property in Monto. Queensland Police

A source told the Bundaberg NewsMail police knocked on the door of her relative's property, north west of Monto, asking for directions to the property in question.

"She then watched the movements of the police coming in and out during the day," she said.

"There was a marked police car, police four-wheel and two-wheel motorbikes, and police on horses scouring the river bank."

The source said they feared the incident was something sinister.

"We thought they were looking for a murder weapon or something," she said.

She said a white, unmarked semi-trailer was later brought into the property.

"They lifted something into it with a forklift - we don't know what they were lifting," she said.

It is believed a woman and three men live on the property and had moved there about 12 months ago.

"They were in the gun club and they were reclusive," the source said. "They didn't mix with anyone."

Three local men aged 42, 46 and 69, believed to be a father and two sons, were charged with one count of unlawfully possessing more than 10 weapons including Category C, D and R weapons.

They are expected to appear in the Biloela Magistrates Court on December 18.

Investigations are continuing with the assistance of the Australian Crime Commission, Customs and Border Protection and AFP.

Topics:  afp ammunition editors picks firearms queensland police



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