Vladimir Kotlyar, Lane Cove’s Senior Ranger, 56, was arrested in Wollstonecraft on Wednesday 21st October 2020 after Australian Border Force (ABF) officers allegedly discovered firearm parts in parcels. He has been in jail since this time.
On 11 November 2020, Mr Kotlyar was released on bail. NSW Local Courts Media spokesperson advised ITC that the following bail conditions were imposed:
- To report to North Sydney Police Station, once-daily between 08:00 AM and 08:00 PM on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
- To surrender his passport to the police officer in charge within 24 hours of release if it is not already in police custody and not to apply for another passport.
- Not to enter any international airport or other points of departure from Australia.
- Comply strictly with the AVO
- Not to attempt to purchase firearms or firearm parts by any means whatsoever including from the internet.
- Not to be in possession of any type of firearm ammunition or firearm part for any purpose whatsoever.
He is also required to comply with the following enforcement conditions:
- To allow entry to his premises by police if reasonably requested for the purpose of investigations.
- He is to enter into a bail security agreement to forfeit the sum of $5000.00 if he fails to comply with the bail acknowledgement.
- One acceptable person(s) enter into a bail security agreement or agreements, and deposit acceptable security, to forfeit the sum of $150 000.00 each if he fails to comply with the bail acknowledgement.
The Manly Daily reported:
“In a bail application on Wednesday, Manly Local Court was told that Mr Kotlyar, who has been the head ranger at Lane Cove for 10 years, was a “prolific collector” of old firearms and once held licences for 37 guns.
Magistrate Michelle Goodwin heard that he had to surrender those guns earlier this year as part of the condition of an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order, which is still in place.”
The Manly Daily further reported that Mr Kotlyar solicitor Justin Lewis (when applying for bail), said the silencer allegedly sent from The Netherlands was actually a solvent filter used to clean guns barrels and that the pistol frame seized was part of an “air soft” gun that is used to fire plastic pellets.
You can read the full Manly Daily Story here (paywall applies).
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.
A Sydney man has been charged over the alleged importation of firearm parts.
ABF officers detected firearm parts in parcels at two separate mail centres earlier this year.
The ensuing investigation led to the arrest of a 56-year-old Wollstonecraft man. https://t.co/1u9dG56NZM pic.twitter.com/MURsxErz4X
— ABF (@AusBorderForce) October 22, 2020
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.