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Vic man accused of illegal gun making

AAP logoAAP 17/08/2016 By Melissa Meehan

A Melbourne man has been charged with possession and manufacturing firearms and drugs after a hidden cache of weapons was allegedly found at his home and work.

Echo Taskforce detectives seized 14 guns, ammunition, eight cannabis plants, cocaine, steroids, two hunting knives, knuckledusters, pepper spray and two Tasers during raids at a home in Kings Park and a Derrimut factory on Wednesday.

Chad Xuereb, 31, faced an out of sessions hearing at the West Melbourne Police Station on Wednesday night facing numerous charges including possessing a trafficable amount of firearms, 11 counts of possessing a hand gun and three counts of possession a long-arm weapon.

The Kings Park man is also charged with possessing materials to manufacture a drug of dependence, cultivating and possessing a drug of dependence and possession cocaine.

Police say 13 of the 14 guns, a mixture of hand guns, bolt guns and long arms, found during Wednesday's raids were unregistered.

Five of them were found at Xuereb's home, including a loaded sawn-off shotgun hidden in a couch, another in a wardrobe and three behind the fridge.

Xuereb, who lives alone, allegedly made full admissions during a police interview about the items found at his home.

The electrical contractor, who is understood to be an associate of a bikie gang, said he had taken matters into his own hands by arming himself after numerous threats against his life.

He made some admissions about manufacturing weapons during a videoed interview at the factory but denied knowledge about the drugs or evidence of a clandestine lab found in a hidden room.

In the factory office, police also found nine bolt guns, schematics and instructions for making guns.

Xuereb denied the bolt guns were found in his office and said any number of people could be to blame for what was found at his factory.

"My factory is open to a lot of people - and I've taken the rap for a lot of people. I probably should have said no," Xuereb told Bail Justice Anthony Mordini.

He also said an ice-addict friend had been sleeping at the factory because he had fallen on hard times.

"I regret it. I was sitting in the cells thinking that I was trying to help people but if I had of said no I would have been better off," he said.

While applying for bail, Xuereb said a number of people, including his five staff, relied on him and if he was in custody they would not get paid.

But Bail Justice Mordini found he was a risk to the community considering the number of items seized by police during the raids.

Xuereb, who wears a back brace after he broke his spine in a car crash earlier this year, was remanded in custody to face the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday.

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