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Perth grandfather led double life as gun runner and imported $1million of ammunition into Australia

Doting grandfather leads a double life as a gun runner – importing $1million worth of ammunition into Australia after losing big in a Ponzi scheme

  • Grandfather remanded in custody after admitting to be interstate drug runner
  • Trevor Manuel imported dozens of powerful firearms to sell to alleged criminals
  • He and associates bought 87 guns on black market valued at almost $1 million
  • The first person in WA to be prosecuted with cross border firearms trafficking

A grandfather has spent his first night behind bars after leading a double life as an interstate gun runner who imported dozens of powerful firearms to sell to alleged criminals.

Trevor Manuel, 61, became the first person in Western Australia to be prosecuted with cross border firearms trafficking after he pleaded guilty to three counts in Perth’s District Court on Tuesday.

The court heard Manuel and his associates bought 87 guns on the black market valued at almost $1 million after he lost the fortunes of investors in a failed Ponzi investment scheme, The West Australian reported.

Trevor Manuel (pictured)  imported dozens of powerful firearms to sell to alleged criminals

Among the investors who lost millions were members of a bikie gang, who hounded the married father-of-four for years.

‘The harassment has been relentless … messages, phone calls, intimidation. He sold a house to pay these people,’ defence lawyer Stephen Butcher told the court.

‘Basically, his life was totally focused on keeping them at bay.’

The court heard that in 2016, Manuel was approached by his brother Gregory and Queensland associate Wayne John Yanko regarding their plans to make big bucks from selling guns on the black market in Western Australia.

Trevor (pictured with his wife) is behind bars after he pleaded guilty to three counts of cross border firearms trafficking. He will be sentenced later this year

Trevor (pictured with his wife) is behind bars after he pleaded guilty to three counts of cross border firearms trafficking. He will be sentenced later this year

The pair convinced Manuel to use his firearms licence and company name to help them and keep the bikies at bay by joining them on interstate gun shopping expeditions in Queensland and NSW.

Powerful firearms such as the Glock and Sig Sauer models were regarded as the criminals’ ‘firearm of choice’ and sold for a marked-up price of up to $25,000 on the black market, prosecutor Oralee Logan told the court.

Of the 87 pistols a street value of at least $900,000 bought and important just five of those guns have been recovered, all of them from alleged criminals. 

Trevor Manuel is the first person in WA to be charged with cross border firearms trafficking

Trevor Manuel is the first person in WA to be charged with cross border firearms trafficking

Judge Mark Herron acknowledged Manuel was an ‘unwilling participant’ who stood to gain little from his involvement but said jail was inevitable. 

Manuel was remanded in custody and will be sentenced later this year. 

Yanko has pleaded not guilty to his involvement while Greg Manuel, who is in Russia, has not been charged.

Trevor Manuel was remanded in custody when he pleaded guilty on Perth District Court

Trevor Manuel was remanded in custody when he pleaded guilty on Perth District Court

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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