AUSTRALIA – Man arrested for importing 6,000 weapons, including [generic not TASER Inc.] Tasers disguised as iPhones (2014-05-01)

Published on May 1 2014 by admin

[[SUMMARY / COMMENTS: Generic tasers, most imported from China, are widely used by criminals. A Police officer syas: “We’re seeing a recurrence of those weapons on the streets most recently…They’ve been around for a long time internationally and in different disguises” … ]]

ABC – Australia

More than 6,000 illegal weapons have been seized at a Melbourne property, including Tasers disguised as iPhones and torches.

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service intercepted a shipment from China based on intelligence provided by Victoria Police.

During a search of the container, officers found knuckledusters, electric shock devices and extendable batons as well as the Tasers.

The items were hidden between blankets and fitness equipment and the shipment was delivered to a tool shop in Thomastown earlier on Thursday.

Customs says the weapons are probably sold legally in China.

Inspector Darren Franks of Victoria Police says investigations are in the early stages, but says there are no indications the shipment was aimed for any specific person or group.

But he did say there has been an resurgence of disguised weapons on the streets.

“Victoria Police have started to pick up on smart phones and torches, because they realise they are actually hiding a Taser,” he said.

“We’re seeing a recurrence of those weapons on the streets most recently.”

He says they are often in possession of people with criminal backgrounds.

“It’s outstanding we got this amount of weapons off the streets,” he said.

Police said they became aware of the suspicious shipment after a tip-off from the public two weeks ago.

“We monitored the shipment and this person’s movements in the last two weeks,” Inspector Franks said.

But he was unable to say whether the man arrested was working alone.

Customs and Border Protection Regional Director Victoria Graham Krisohos says Tasers hidden in torches and phones is not a new phenomena overseas, but it is in Australia.

“They’ve been around for a long time internationally and in different disguises,” he said.
A 43-year-old man from Thomastown, in Melbourne’s north, was been arrested for importing the prohibited weapons.

If found guilty, the maximum penalty would be a fine of $425,000 and or up to 10 years in jail.

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