Anti-tank weapon found in huge raid on property
EXPLOSIVE experts had to be called in during a mass raid on a remote Cassowary Coast property which uncovered a huge cache of guns, ammunition and explosives.
A 72-year-old man is due to face the Innisfail Magistrates Court next month on 14 weapons-related charges linked to the Eubenangee property.
Detectives searched the rural site on Tuesday after public tip-offs, but needed to call in the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and Department of Natural Resources and Mines experts who had to perform several controlled detonations in a four-day operation to clear out the property.
Among the haul were 24 unregistered firearms, a Boys antitank rifle from World War II which was still operational, a tonne of ammunition, 100kg of fireworks, two semiautomatic rifles, silencers, detonators, and a quantity of volatile liquid mercury.
Police alleged the man had been an arms collector for decades to amass the items, but there was no suggestion he was actively using them.
However Far North police Det Acting Insp Kevin Goan said they would have held even graver fears if anyone else had gained access to the items
"Some of the weapons and ordnance, had they gone into the wrong hands could quite easily have been appropriated for nefarious use which would likely have been hugely problematic to police and other members of the community," he said.
"There were hundreds of kilograms of ammunition and other ordnance and explosives that could be used to manufacture explosive material.
"We will allege he had been an avid collector his whole life and some of the weapons came into his possession in the early 1970s, predating the current legislation by a couple of decades … but he sought not to take the right action and dispose of or register them."
Det Acting Insp Goan said they initially searched the property after executing a search warrant, but had to take out a crime scene warrant and move the man and his wife from the residence while they safely removed all the offending items.
He said much of it was located within shipping containers on the property which is understood to be more than 100 acres in size.
The man has been charged with four counts of unlawful possession of weapons, one count of unlawful possession of 10 or more weapons, three counts of authority required to possess explosives, two counts of prohibition on possession of particular magazine and one count each of secure storage of weapons, fail to take care and fail to store small ammunition and power device.
He is due to appear in Innisfail Magistrates Court on May 3.
Originally published as Anti-tank weapon found in huge raid on property