Australian police announce first bomb amnesty – but don’t bring them into the station

A spokeswoman said it was “critical that these ­materials are not moved or transported”

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 April, 2017, 10:30pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 April, 2017, 10:48pm

Police set to run Australia’s first amnesty on illegal bombs have hedged their appeal with a warning that “under no circumstances are materials to be transported to a police station”.

New South Wales police want to cut the volume of dangerous explosives in the state by giving a six-month window of legal immunity to those who hand them in.

From May 1, officers will ­respond to calls from the public reporting unlicensed collections of bombs or hazardous materials, ranging from home-made explosives to those smuggled out of commercial or military facilities and even fireworks.

Those involved in the illicit ­collection or making of explosives have ranged from criminal gangs to curious individuals, in addition to what authorities have alleged were a number of foiled bomb plots by would-be terrorists.

NSW police told its officers in a memo that the amnesty, code-named Operation Fragor, was “a safe way to reduce the amount of dangerous explosives in the community”, News Corp reported.

But the force in a media statement spelled out some risks ass­ociated with the campaign.

A spokeswoman said it was “critical that these ­materials are not moved or transported”.

“Under no circumstances are materials to be transported to a police station,” she said. “Simply call police, who will inspect and ultimately dispose of the mater­ials. Do not tilt, touch or tamper

as older explosives can become ­unstable over time.”

High-profile illicit explosives arsenals have included 17.5kg of Powergel explosives and one of

10 rocket launchers stolen from the army, which were handed back by convicted murderer ­Adnan Darwiche in a bid to bolster his legal negotiations.

And a Sydney carpenter ­pleaded guilty in Manly local court to setting off home-made pipe bombs in a national park last year, in what his lawyer said were “foolish” acts not meant to harm anyone.