Australian Border Force (ABF) officers arrested and charged a 28-year-old United States woman after locating an undeclared 24-carat gold-plated handgun in her luggage on 23 April 2023.
The firearm was unregistered and the US citizen, who travelled from Los Angeles to Sydney, did not hold a permit to import or possess the firearm in Australia.
ABF Investigators arrested and charged the woman under section 233BAB(5) of the Customs Act 1901, which, if convicted, could result in up to 10 years' imprisonment.
ABF Enforcement and Detained Goods East Commander Justin Bathurst said that a combination of ABF officer skills and sophisticated detection technology helped stop a dangerous weapon from reaching the community.
“Time and time again, we have seen just how good ABF officers are at targeting and stopping illegal, and highly dangerous, goods from crossing Australia's border," Commander Bathurst said.
“The ABF is Australia's first and most important line of defence. ABF officers are committed to protecting our community by working with law enforcement partners to prevent items like unregistered firearms getting through at the border."
The woman appeared before the Downing Centre Local Court on 24 April 2023, where she received bail.
The woman remains subject to visa cancellation and removal from Australia, pending the outcome of court proceedings.
Anyone with information about suspicious border activity or border-related crime in the community can report it anytime through Border Watch at borderwatch.gov.au. Information can be provided anonymously.
Media contact: Australian Border Force (02) 6264 2211