POLICE have made a chilling discovery after uncovering an enormous stockpile of military grade weapons and body armour at a house in Sydney.
Acting on information from the Australian Border Force, tactical police raided the home of a 64-year-old former prison guard in Richmond on Tuesday morning.
While searching the property, officers uncovered a shed in the backyard full of weapons – 213 of them to be exact.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
The frightening arsenal consisted off semiautomatic guns, 2000 rounds of ammunition, more than 100 knives and swords, tomahawks, swat gear, ballistic vests, armoured helmets, and cross-bows with hundreds of arrows.
Among the 10 firearms that were seized was a high-powered military-grade SKS Norinco semi-automatic rifle with bullet belts for rapid succession firing.
The 64-year-old man had also allegedly amassed a stack of alarming literature, including a number of sniper training manuals and books on counter-terrorism operations.
It’s understood Border Force officers became suspicious and tipped off police two weeks ago after the former prison guard purchased close to 100 items online in quick succession, including bulletproof clothing and gun parts.
Police admit the find is unlike anything they have seen before and fear the man may have been planning a large-scale attack, but investigators said they could only judge the threat based on the evidence they found.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday morning, State Crime Commander Acting Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith said the case “had all the hallmarks of a significant threat”.
“The threat was real. It was significant and it was imminent,” Detective Superintendent Smith said.
“What we found at the premises was a disturbing individual who had a cache of tactical weapons and 50 times the ammunition required of a sports shooter, and concerning literature.”
Det Supt Smith said investigators quickly formed the view that the man “posed a significant threat to the community”.
“We are aware of the significance of this seizure – these weapons are not available in Australia,” he said.
“It requires specialised training and expert skill to use military-grade weaponry.”
“[The man] amassed such a huge cache of weapons, you can only interpret what you find and be concerned by that.”
The 64-year-old was allegedly carrying five knives when tactical officers arrived at his house on Tuesday.
He was arrested and taken to Windsor Police Station, before being taken to hospital where he remains after undergoing a mental health assessment.
It has since been revealed that the man, once a keen sports shooter, has a history of mental health issues and was banned from owning a gun nine years ago after losing his firearms licence.
Police reportedly seized 32 firearms from the man at the time.
After spending 30 years working at jails around Sydney, including as a member of the Immediate Action Team, the man left Corrective Services in 2010 after being diagnosed with a psychiatric illness, the Daily Telegraph reported.
It’s understood in the years since, he has face court twice but escaped penalty both times due to his mental health.
The man is expected to be charged with multiple firearms and weapons offences once he is released from hospital.
You can report also information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via nsw.crimestoppers.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.