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A criminal syndicate brazenly smuggling weapons into the country, exposing the failings in the nation’s border security.

“It was exceptionally serious and viewed that way.” Detective, Organised Crime Squad

The audacious but simple smuggling conspiracy caught law enforcement off guard and forced a major rethink in how to counteract illegal gun importations.

“Think of how much crime that gun could be connected to in a hundred years. Times that by hundreds of handguns. Its staggering to think what sort of problem that could be faced by law enforcement.” Detective, Organised Crime Squad

Through surveillance videos, phone intercepts and interviews with the investigating officers, Four Corners pieces together the smuggling operation and the police sting that eventually stopped them.

“You’ve got to get rid of it. Did you sign for it?” Gun smuggler caught on surveillance

With the jailing of the group’s ringleader, the story of how this group smuggled weapons into the country, fuelling drive by shootings and gang violence, can now be told. It is replayed on Tuesday 16th May at 10.00am and Wednesday 17th at 11pm.

The majority of illicit firearms in Australia are long guns, such as shot guns and rifles which are either stolen or were not handed in or registered during the 1996 amnesty. It’s estimated there are 250,000 of these in circulation.

The number of illicit handguns is estimated at 10,000. Though a much smaller number, these guns have become very popular with criminals and are sought after.

The number of registered firearms are estimated by the Australian Crime Commission at 2.75 million owned by 730,000 people.
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