Victoria police have discovered two AK-47 assault rifles throughout a week of raids across Melbourne’s south-east.
On Tuesday afternoon, police raided the home of an 18-year-old man in Oakleigh East. Detectives from the Victoria Police South Metro Crime Team discovered a real AK-47, another fake firearm, and cannabis at a home in Oakleigh East.
The discovery comes a week after Victoria Police executed a series of raids in relation to a series of carjackings and aggravated burglaries in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs between July 26 and August 7th.
The raids led to the arrests of 14 people, aged between 14 and 26. Investigators also recovered two stolen vehicles, a black Holden Captiva, and a Landrover Discovery, as well as imitation firearms and an AK-47 assault rifle. According to The Herald Sun, underworld crime figures are pressuring young offenders to be “gun sitters” and use the firearms on behalf of the gangs.
Detective Inspector Pannel told a press conference on Friday that the weapons had been discovered in an 18-year-old Doveton man’s bedroom and that the imitation firearms were used to intimidate the victims. He told a press conference, “The nature of the offending, going into people’s homes when they’re there is causing fear…the weapons are being used to enhance that fear.”
A gun dealer told The Herald Sun, that thousands of Chinese counterfeit AK-47’s were illegally imported in the 1980s. “Everyone had one. You could buy one back then for $200.” Police have estimated the cost of an AK-47 on the black market at $10,000, although access to ammunition is scarce.
According to the Department of Home Affairs, the importation of fully automatic assault rifles such as AK-47s is heavily restricted and only granted for government purposes. “In the 50s and 60s it was quite easy to get them into the country,” confirmed Former Border Force Commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg, in an interview with 3AW. “You can punch out several hundred rounds a minute, they’re a scary weapon."