Agape Ministries of God:
Guns, detonators found in religious sect raids
May 20, 2010
South Australian police say it appears the leaders of a secretive religious sect may have been stockpiling weapons with plans to move to a Pacific island.
Guns, high-powered ammunition and explosives equipment have been seized in raids on 12 properties in and near Adelaide linked with the Agape Ministries of God.
Four people have been arrested or reported for firearms offences, but police say the sect leaders have not been located.
The largest seizure was at Mount Magnificent, south of Adelaide, where detonators, fuses and 20,000 rounds of ammunition were found in a shipping container.
Detective Superintendent Jim Jeffery says ammunition was hidden in the steel-framed bed heads.
"These findings of course are very concerning for the investigators, particularly given that it's suspected that high-powered weapons have been fired on that property up at Mount Magnificent," he said.
"The reasons for stockpiling and hiding this ammunition clearly needs to be ascertained and we haven't located those weapons as yet."
Two men - a Mount Compass man, 49, and an Upper Sturt man, 46 - have been arrested and another two men, 48 and 38, have been reported for firearms offences.
George Kruszewski lives near the Agape Ministries property at Oakden in Adelaide and says the group has the hallmarks of a cult.
"I know a few of the people that are, you might say, the inner circle of people there. They seem to be involved in finance and business and that sort of thing, you know doing deals and in fact one of them said he'd lend me any amount of money I wanted provided it was over $10 million," he said.
Roger Gore also lives nearby.
"The whole place is just very quiet, very secure and I suppose from a distance like we are here you would wonder what goes on in there," he said.
"The delivery vans go in and come out."
Major fraud, firearms and commercial and electronic crime sections of the SA Police are involved in the ongoing investigation.
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