Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

17 years’ imprisonment for gun smuggler

Date of Publication: 
20 March 2017

On 17 March 2017, Khoder El Ali was sentenced by the District Court of NSW in Sydney to just over 17 years’ imprisonment for state and federal firearms offences. 

Following a lengthy trial prosecuted by the CDPP, 32-year-old El Ali was convicted of offences involving a prolonged and sophisticated criminal enterprise that imported concealable semi-automatic pistols into Australia, and subsequently sold them for profit on the black market. 

Using multiple false identities and false documents, El Ali smuggled 129 Glock pistols and 80 magazines into Australia in 22 parcel post consignments sent from Germany, Switzerland and the US. One of the pistols was subsequently used in a shooting in a public place in Wiley Park in NSW, in early 2012. 

In total, 23 of the pistols imported by El Ali were linked to serious crimes committed by others.

The subsequent investigation by the NSW Police Force and Australian Border Force prevented hundreds of further pistols and magazines being imported and introduced into the community. The investigation saw El Ali and two co-offenders arrested in March 2012. 

The two co-offenders, Ahmed Karnib and Andrew Botros, were convicted and sentenced by the District Court of NSW in May 2015.

In passing sentence on El Ali, the Court said, ‘All of that criminality bespeaks at best a reckless indifference to, if not a positive desire to promote, the social harms, including the threat to public safety, inevitably associated with the unregulated introduction of these weapons into the community.’

The CDPP thanked the NSW Police Force, Australian Border Force and Germany’s Bundeskriminalamt (Federal Police) for their efforts in successfully prosecuting the case.

CDPP Media Contact: or 02 6206 5708

Charges and sentence: Khoder El Ali was charged with:

  • One charge (federal)—conspiring to import prohibited imports, being firearm parts and magazines, without requisite permission. 
  • Two charges (NSW)—conspiring to possess multiple pistols and ongoing sale of firearms.
  • 15 charges (NSW)—making false statements to the NSW Police Firearms Registry between 2009 and 2011.

El Ali was sentenced to 17 years’ imprisonment and three months, with a minimum term of 13 years. He will not become eligible for parole until March 2025.