A Mildura man has been charged with illegally importing handgun parts in the mail. Thirty-four-year-old Hanh Truong was charged after Australian Border Force (ABF) officers intercepted seven packages addressed to him between November 6 and November 9.
X-rays at Australia Post revealed the packages from the US and Hong Kong, which were labelled toys or model parts, actually contained firearm parts and handgun frames, according to ABF.
Authorities allegedly found a number of handgun parts at his home during a raid on Wednesday. They charged him with eight counts of importing and possessing handgun parts illegally.
Hanh Truong’s, and several other recent cases, confirm criminals are getting their guns from illegal imports – not from lawful firearm owners.
At last year’s Senate Inquiry into The ability of law enforcement authorities to eliminate gun-related violence, the now-called ABF said it was impossible to know how many firearms had been illegally smuggled into the country.
The ABF told the Senate Inquiry that it found 1737 undeclared firearms, parts or accessories in 2013-14. Considering the agency only inspects 4 or 5 per cent of all shipments, we must assume that between 34,740 and 43,425 firearms, parts and accessories are entering the country illegally each year.
If convicted, Hanh faces up to 10 years in jail.