Lane Cove Senior Ranger Vladimir Kotlyar Arrested for the Alleged Importation of Firearms

Vladimir Kotlyar, Lane Cove’s Senior Ranger, 56, was arrested in Wollstonecraft on Wednesday after Australian Border Force (ABF) officers allegedly discovered firearm parts in parcels.

Investigations began after ABF officers at the Melbourne Gateway Facility located a silencer and other firearm parts in a consignment from the Netherlands in April. A second package was detected at the Sydney Gateway Facility in May. The consignment contained a semi-automatic handgun frame.

On Wednesday 21 October 2020, ABF investigators executed warrants at premises in Wollstonecraft and Lane Cove, with the assistance of the NSW Police Force.

During the warrants, several items were seized including an unregistered firearm, a silencer, a firearm grip, extendable batons and electronic devices.

Mr Kotylar was arrested at Wollstonecraft and taken to Chatswood Police Station where he was charged with two counts of importing prohibited Tier 2 goods without approval, contrary to section 233BAB(5) of the Customs Act 1901. The maximum penalty if convicted is up to 10 years’ imprisonment and/or fines of up to 555,000.

Detectives from North Shore Police Area Command charged Mr Kotylar with possessing an unauthorised pistol, possess a barrel without the authority of licence/permit, and possess ammunition without holding licence/permit/authority.

He appeared at Manly Court on Tuesday and was refused bail (case number 2020/00302128)

ABF Regional Investigations NSW Superintendent Garry Low said targeting illegal firearm imports is a priority for the ABF.

“Every day, ABF officers at Australia’s airports, seaports and mail centres are on the lookout for the illegal importation of firearms and other prohibited weapons,” Superintendent Low said.

“In the wrong hands, these weapons could be deadly, so when we detect them at the border, we will seize them and where appropriate prosecute those trying to bring them in illegally.”

Lane Cove Council

In the Cove contacted Lane Cove Council for a comment. A spokesperson for Lane Cove Council advised:

“Council has been made aware of investigations relating to our Senior Ranger. Mr Kotlyar has been a Council Ranger for some 17 years, the last 12 years with Lane Cove Council. Council has not been advised of the particulars of the charges other than via media reports. Council will co-operate fully with authorities if requested to do so.”

In his role as a senior ranger, Mr Kotylar is a member of the North Shore Police Area Command Community Safety Precinct Committee. 

The Australian Institue of Local Government rangers works towards increasing the skill, training and professionalism of the industry.

The Objectives of the Institute are:

  • To improve the professional status and advance interests of our calling.
  • To seek and implement the establishment of training courses and standards of competence in the profession.
  • To educate members in their legal and moral responsibilities in relation to their duties and the community.
  • To co-operate with any appropriate body to further these objects.
  • To promote a high standard of integrity and efficiency in our calling.
  • To combine in one body all persons who are eligible for membership under these rules.
  • To publish at regular intervals reports and / or newsletters setting forth the policies, plans and achievements of the Institute.
  • To bring before the public, Government and other appropriate bodies, matters of concern to the Institute or its members.

It’s not known if Mr Kotylar is a member of this organisation that sets the benchmark for professional rangers.

Update 27th October 2020: Mr Steven Larsen Hon Secretary of the Australian Institute of Local Government Rangers (Inc) provided ITC with the following information:

“Senior Ranger Vladimir Kotlyar not associated with the Australian Institute of Local Government Rangers (Inc) nor a member of the association.”

Sydney man charged over alleged importation of firearm parts

Our Cover Photo Source: The Australian Border Force Image Library

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