AN AUSTRALIAN expatriate based in Papua New Guinea will face a Melbourne court for alleged involvement in a gun-smuggling racket in the Pacific.
Prominent PNG businessman Ian Chow was arrested in Sydney by Australian Federal Police early last month.
An Australian Federal Police spokeswoman confirmed they had arrested a 49-year-old male Australian citizen in Chatswood.
''The man was charged with one count of aid, abet, counsel or procure the export of prohibited goods,'' she said.
PNG has a strict embargo on weapons and ammunition importation due to a high level of violent gun crime. Mr Chow, a licensed sports shooter, is alleged to be involved in the illegal supply of ammunition via Lae Biscuit company containers sent from Australia.
Mr Chow is the chief executive for Lae Biscuit and the regional director for the International Practical Shooting Confederation.
He appeared before Parramatta Local Court on August 5 before being extradited to face Melbourne Magistrate's Court on August 20. His next Melbourne court appearance is on November 12.
Mr Chow is not new to controversy. In 2006, police charged him after a series of his homemade pornographic images circulated on the internet.
Lawyers for Mr Chow tried to ban local media covering the court case, which never went to trial, as is common in PNG's haphazard legal system.
PNG is plagued by thousands of illegal guns. They have been mostly stolen from army and police armouries and frequently used in fatal tribal fights, car jackings and robberies.
Earlier this month PNG police and custom officials in Lae raided a container from the Philippines and uncovered four loaded pistols and 19 magazines packed in a safe addressed to a 38-year-old Indonesian property and maintenance manager, Yoshi Kuni Ikeda.
PNG police told local media that they had busted a ''triad mafia ring''.
"The interception is only a tip of an iceberg. We believe that many law enforcement agencies are involved in the syndicate," police told the Post-Courier newspaper on September 6.