Police have seized more than 400 prohibited weapons including samurai swords, zombie knives and butterfly knives during raids in the South East.
The Dandenong Youth Gang Team raided two shops in Vesper Drive, Narre Warren and Dorset Road, Boronia about 10am on Wednesday 25 October as part of an investigation into the alleged sale of weapons including knives and machetes to local youth gang members.
A subsequent search was also conducted at a factory on Marni Drive, Dandenong South.
During the searches, police seized:
• 402 prohibited weapons, including three imitation handguns, butterfly knives, zombie knives, axes, miniature samurai swords, daggers, flick knives, and knuckle dusters
• 111 cartons of illegal cigarettes and approximately 2kg of dried loose-leaf tobacco
• Quantities of methylamphetamine, cannabis and prescription medication
• 17,525 vapes – some containing nicotine – worth $461,000
• Laser pointers
A 52-year-old Cranbourne North man was arrested at the shop in Narre Warren, before being released pending further enquiries.
He is expected to be charged with offences such as selling prohibited weapons to a person without authority; possess, carry, use prohibited weapon without approval or exemption; and purchase prohibited weapon without an authority.
A second man, aged 34 from Narre Warren North, was arrested at the factory, however, was also released pending further investigations.
Senior Sergeant Josh Milligan from Dandenong Youth Gang Team said police were reminding retailers about their responsibility of selling weapons to youths.
“We know the harm that illegal weapons can cause in our community, especially when they’re in the hands of young people.
“There is no place in our community for adults who prey on, or take advantage of, local youth, by equipping them with weapons that will ultimately lead to further crime.”
The warrants were part of Victoria Police’s ongoing operation targeting youth gangs – Operation Alliance.
Operation Alliance has led to 440 youth gang members being arrested a combined 1,630 times over the past year.
Since Alliance was formed in September 2020, Victoria Police has reduced the number of known youth gang members in Victoria from 747 to 598.
A core group of recidivist offenders – 84 gang members – have been arrested more than ten times over the past year.
Illicit tobacco is also targeted by police under Taskforce Lunar.
Any information to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or crimestoppersvic.com.au