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Police target illicit firearms in bikie operation

File photo.

Police have searched properties in Point Cook and Tarneit as part of an operation to disrupt and deter illicit firearm use linked to the Rebels Outlaw Motorcycle Gang (OMCG) on Wednesday, January 19.

Police carried out searches at 12 Victorian sites including in Lilydale, Kilsyth, Lockwood, Huntly, North Bendigo, North Shore, Breakwater, Lara and Norlane.

The operation targeted patched members of the Rebels and their associates.

Detectives from the Echo Taskforce, Gang Crime Squad, Arson and Explosives Squad, Armed Crime Squad, Vehicle Crime Squad, Western Region Crime Squad, North West Metro Crime Squad, Tactical Unit, Illicit Firearms Squad and Dog Squad, as well as the federal police from the from the Anti-Gangs Squad, took part in the operation.

Police issued 10 firearm prohibition orders (FPOs) including to a 30-year-old man from Point Cook and a 31-year-old man from Tarneit.

A number of registered firearms were also seized from the Norlane and Lara addresses.

Firearm Prohibition Orders are a legislative provision that give police specific powers to respond to, disrupt and prevent firearm-related crime in Victoria.

Once issued, an FPO remains in effect for 10 years for adults and five years for children between 14 and 17 years of age.

During that time, the individual is prohibited from acquiring, possessing, carrying or using any firearm related item such as ammunition.

Since they were introduced in May 2018, Victoria Police has issued more than 1300 FPOs across the state.

Detective Inspector Graham Banks from the Echo Taskforce said: “Firearm Prohibition Orders serve as a powerful tool to hold certain individuals accountable when it comes to the use of illicit firearms.”

“We know these members of the Rebels OMCG have been involved in violent crimes such as shootings, assaults, arson, drug trafficking, extortion and intimidation and we believe today’s actions will impact this criminal organisations ability to commit further offences of this nature.

“Today’s enforcement sends a clear message to OMCG members and associates –police will use every power they have to prevent you from causing harm to the our communities”