Police have seized an arsenal of weapons, high-powered ammunition and explosives from South Australian properties linked to a doomsday cult.
About 90 police have been involved in searches over the past two days of 12 properties owned by a religious sect known as the Agape Ministries of God, which believes the world is approaching the end.
Detectives today have raided a property which was formerly part of the Hillcrest psychiatric hospital at Oakden, where they have removed numerous boxes from three shipping containers.
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They also are at Mt Magnificent, where they are searching a dam.
Major Fraud detectives say they have arrested four men and charged them with firearms offences.
The sect and its Adelaide leader, ‘Pastor’ Rocco Leo, have featured recently in a Today Tonight investigation
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.
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.
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.